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Stop the online conspiracy theorists before they break democracy | Julia Ebner | Opinion | The Guardian
Beyond inspiring attacks on perceived enemies, the spread of conspiracy theories can, in the long-term, sow societal divisions and undermine confidence in democratic processes, institutions and representatives. At a time when distrust in the political establishment runs exceptionally high, it is easy to tap into existing suspicions and fill information gaps with fabricated news and distorted statistics.
neuralnetworks  thenetwork  qanon  conspiracies 
16 days ago by osfa
Ong's Hat: The Early Internet Conspiracy Game That Got Too Real
If you're into reading about weirdo conspiracy theories, interdimensional travel, and/or New Jersey, this is a must.
conspiracies  share 
29 days ago by bronzehedwick
Trapped in a hoax: survivors of conspiracy theories speak out | Technology | The Guardian
Jones is truly heinous. A huckster who has endangered real people so he can sell snakeoil to dumbasses.
Conspiracies  Harassment  Violence  Idiocy 
7 weeks ago by Membranophonist
Trapped in a hoax: survivors of conspiracy theories speak out
What happens to those caught up in the toxic lies of conspiracy theorists? The Guardian spoke to five victims whose lives were wrecked by falsehoods.
conspiracies  society 
8 weeks ago by terry
The Plot Against George Soros
The anti-Soros campaign was entirely artificial, as a means to elect Orban in Hungary:
Orbán was busy creating a new, more dramatic story of the nation. Hungary, which had collaborated with the Nazis, was painted as a victim, surrounded by external enemies, under perpetual siege, first from the Ottomans, then the Nazis, and later the Communists. Hungary’s mission was clear: to defend against its enemies, and to preserve Christianity against encroaching Islam and secular forces.

Against this backdrop, Finkelstein had an epiphany. What if the veil of the conspiracy were to be lifted and a shadowy figure appear, controlling everything? The puppet master. Someone who not only controlled the “big capital” but embodied it. A real person. A Hungarian. Strange, yet familiar. That person was Soros, Finkelstein told Birnbaum. Birnbaum was mesmerized: Soros was the perfect enemy.

[....] Despite everything that followed, Birnbaum is proud of the campaign against Soros: “Soros was a perfect enemy. It was so obvious. It was the simplest of all products, you just had to pack it and market it.”

The product was so good, it sold itself and went global. In 2017, Italians started talking about Soros-financed immigrant boats arriving on the shores. In the US, some people suspected Soros was behind the migrant caravan entering from Central America. A Polish member of parliament called Soros the “most dangerous man in the world.” Putin referred dismissively to Soros during a press conference with Trump in Helsinki. Trump even claimed that the demonstrations against Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh were sponsored by Soros.

Today Finkelstein and Birnbaum’s work in Hungary has echoes everywhere. Birnbaum denied the suggestion that he had run anti-Soros campaigns outside of Hungary. But perhaps he didn’t have to. Anyone could pick up the ideas and run with them. Finkelstein and Birnbaum had turned Soros into a meme. Right-wing sites like Breitbart, or the Kremlin-controlled Russia Today, could simply adopt the Hungarian campaign, translate it into other languages, and feed it with local arguments. If right-wing movements want to campaign today, they can source Soros material from the internet. Anti-Soros material is a globalized, freely available, and adaptable open-source weapon. Birnbaum said it was the common denominator of the nationalist movement.
george-soros  conspiracies  george-birnbaum  antisemitism  hungary  arthur-finkelstein  politics  campaigning 
8 weeks ago by jm
How credulous cranks made me the subject of their conspiracy theory
At CAPX, Oliver Kamm writes of his experience as the target of online conspiracy theories.
conspiracies  fake  news  disinformation  socialmedia 
8 weeks ago by net.wars
In the Web’s Hyperreality, Information Is Experience | Hapgood
I encourage you to think of disinformation in this way, at least for a bit — not as the spread of false information, but as the hacking of the simulated reality which we all must necessarily inhabit. As something that does not just change knowledge, but which produces new life experiences as real as the the Iraq War, your neighbor’s fight with cancer, or your child’s illness. To see it in this way is perhaps more terrifying, but ultimately necessary as we attempt to address the problem.
conspiracies  fakenews  infolit  tech&society  socialmedia  experience 
november 2018 by barbarafister
In the Web’s Hyperreality, Information Is Experience
A neighbor was sweeping his sidewalk, pushing tiny white rocks back into his rock garden. The sky was an uninterrupted blue. A mailman worked his way up the empty street. There were no signs of “Sharia Law.” The migrant caravan was still hundreds of miles away in Mexico. Antifa protesters had yet to descend on…
politics  literacy  news  reality  misinformation  psychology  information  conspiracies  social  facebook 
november 2018 by coldbrain

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