Connect with us

Uncategorized

How covid-19 conspiracy videos keep getting millions of views

Published

on

How covid-19 conspiracy videos keep getting millions of views

[ad_1]

The ongoing battle between social-media companies and covid-19 misinformation pushersincluding US president Donald Trumpstepped up again this week thanks to a new viral video. And it has exposed, once again, how difficult addressing conspiracy theories is for Facebook, Twitter, and others.

The latest video comes from a group called Americas Frontline Doctors, which is sponsored by the right-wing Tea Party Patriots. It features a professional-looking group of people in white lab coats advocating hydroxychloroquine, the malaria treatment previously pushed by the president. One doctor speaking at the press conference promoted the drug as a cure for the coronavirus, and said that people dont need to wear masks. The FDA withdrew its emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine for treating covid-19 patients in June, after establishing that the drug was not effective and potentially dangerous.

The videos false claims led to removals on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for violating policies on health misinformation. Donald Trump Jr.s Twitter account was temporarily limited after he shared it, and a retweet by the president himself was deleted. By the time that happened, however, the video had already been seen by millions of people.

The success of Americas Frontline Doctors and Plandemic, another covid-19 conspiracy video, which became a big hit in May, show how challenging it is to combat a misinformation ecosystem that has remained largely unchecked for years. Why is this happening now?

Misinformation peddlers are getting better at finding big audiences. Conspiracy theories are typically seen as thriving at the wild fringes of online thought. But thats not really how some of the more successful videos have spread over the past few months. Prominent figures in the anti-vaccine movements began seeking out audiences with larger, more mainstream YouTubers to get their beliefs in front of larger audiences.

Also helping? Media coverage, whether sympathetic or outraged. The doctors press conference was livestreamed by Breitbart, with the caption, BREAKING: American Doctors Address COVID-19 Misinformation with SCOTUS Press Conference before the post was deleted. Breitbart has more than 4.5 million Facebook followers.

Takedowns can boostnot blockthe cycle. Some far-right figures have, for years, claimed that technology platforms are secretly conspiring to silence conservative political thought. As soon as the press conference started disappearing from mainstream social media, supporters began to re-upload new copies of the video and share it. By then it had added appeal as a video that mainstream forces dont want you to see. This makes it more likely to be seen by those who already dont trust these institutions, exacerbating the problem.

Increased enforcement may be coming too late.Although the tactics used to slow down conspiracies may have some minor successes, they have happened so late that prevention may be impossible. We reported recently that experts believeit could be too late to stop the conspiracy group QAnon with fact checks and account bans.



[ad_2]

Uncategorized

Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

Published

on

Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

[ad_1]

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

Published

on

HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

[ad_1]

HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

Published

on

unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

[ad_1]

My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.