Click-Sick: Part 2 The hidden political forces pushing pandemic conspiracies


Asylum. Lodging. Beginning about five years ago researchers began to notice that recommendation engines were facilitating cross pollination of conspiratorial groups online rene. TERRESA is the research manager at the Stanford. Internet. Observatory. She studies how do seem formation. Spreads Online. She says the way social media platforms recommend people and groups to follow has helped conspiracy theories to cross, pollinate, and reach more people than ever before. And so people who were in anti vaccine groups are following anti vaccine pages were some of the earliest to see she went on content or pizza gate content or in some cases, chem trails and flatter and near this of whole spectrum of conspiracy theories. So look I'm sorry but I probably need to explain this quickly the debunked pizza gate conspiracy claims high ranking Democrats were running a child sex ring out a pizza shop in Washington DC. It was swiftly followed by the Cunanan conspiracy. Now that one claims a satanic cabal of pitfalls are running a child sex trafficking operation which Donald Trump is trying to stop both these theories spread platforms like facebook and twitter, and so what we started to see in twenty twenty with corona virus was ways in which those pathways became very useful for spreading corona virus misinformation including by Governments A. History shows us that infectious disease outbreaks crises that governments can choose to exploit in dangerous ways. Historically. One of the really common themes that we've seen from China and Russia in particular is the idea that outbreaks are tied to some kind of bio weapon that stretches back to the Cold War to the Korean War these sorts of attempts to pin blame US sometimes referred to as disinformation false information that is spread with the intent to mislead usually for political financial or some other gain. Rene says several states promoting disinformation about who's to blame for the current pandemic. You can see it in the major diplomatic standoff between China and the US with birth auguring of a win the virus came from one of the sort of. Chinese Internet conspiracy theories was that the virus was brought to Han by the United States during the World Military Games. In? November. Meanwhile in reverse also, what you saw was in the US from politicians, speculation that the coronavirus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute Veraldi, which did research on bats but then nation states and official government representatives, and in the case of China officials, state media began to push out those theories as well. Then there's the conspiracy that five G. Technology has caused current of ours that began with the existing protests against five g. and the scientifically unfounded claim that it is somehow a restore a health. It turns out there might be some political entities interested in pushing that claim to there was a sense that the US was moving ahead with this very, very powerful new technology China is moving ahead with this, very, very powerful new technology a New York Times investigation found in twenty nineteen. The number of outlets with links to the Russian stage were regularly promoting the idea that five was a health risk. And Five G. is fertile territory for building distrust, given community debate over the safety of electromagnetic or EM, radiation for mobile networks including the early four G and three G networks. And yet, there is still nor convincing scientific evidence indicate em radiation exposure from five G. within the limits allowed in. Australia. Is Harmful. But that hasn't stopped fear from building. So Alice saw the attack on five G. no claiming that it caused a lot of health problems as a way for Russia to support. The potential for us and potentially Chinese dominance in this new emerging technological market. So battle lines had already been drawn over five g technology and then corona virus hit when you have these. Opportunities to add new inflection to something that you kind of want to harp on tying it to the current virus. It offers the opportunity to make it a little bit fresher. Some of the earliest mentions of the. Idea that five G. contributed to covid nineteen appear to have been shared by French blog in January the and is later in an article published by building news outlet from there it spread, and also in the people are searching for information about corona virus or paying a lot of attention to that story. By linking these two things, you can potentially make them go and. Be More receptive to this this other kind of adjacent narrative that you want to spread. Can Be difficult to get to the bottom of what we're saying on social media. Is it just a celebrity with a random theory or is this something that China Russia or the United States wants you to share to serve the interest or is it maybe some missy mix of the two? This is something Catherine has been thinking about when her friends sent her conspiracy theory videos, most people will are. Posted by my friend all by my relative you know did dine. Really realize. What? What the sources you don't necessarily. Go to Howland and. The account. And go like our. That's linked to. Russian. Media you most people wouldn't do that research, and even if he did do your research, it's cloudy out there from state actors, instagram stars, journalists to local politicians, lots of papal applying with conspiratorial ideas and using the techniques of disinformation. But. The question remains does any of these conspiratorial content malicious or innocent and intent have an actual impact on our behavior. It might not to change Catherine's behavior but it has got her thinking about growing up in Cold War Berlin. It's the same sort of techniques that were used in Germany to sow distrust with that kind of brainwashing with that kind of indoctrination. You can really shift people's opinion towards introducing stuff that is really not to their benefit offended really frightening. It's something that's honestly kept me up at night. It's something I'm. Really worried about. This is click secon on science friction. I'm the Tesha Mitchell with ABC take reporter Ariel Bogle, and Catherine's right to be worried because Ariel before the corona virus and social media they was HIV in Cold War propaganda. Yeah. This is what I find. So striking this strategy by governments spinning health information for political gain it's played out before in early infectious disease outbreaks. This is so interesting. So now on clicks with taking you back to the place where Catherine was born Germany and

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