Rumour, Gossip and Fake News Sites

A440
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

stillnessinthestorm.com — Conspiracy & Lies for Profit

Post by A440 » Thu May 19, 2022 3:01 pm

This site is a good representation of what a "fake news" site looks like, using facts as bait to promote their own editorial bias and opinions, when not promoting outright disinformation and lies — all this to help sell their merchandise that ranges from mugs, coffee beans, alleged health supplements and T-shirts.
Basically, this is how one monetizes conspiracy and rumour.

stillnessinthestorm.com
Founded in 2015, Stillness in the Storm is a conspiracy and pseudoscience website which promotes an extremist, right-wing narrative. This site promotes deliberate vaccine disinformation, for example "Recently Deceased Foo Fighters Drummer’s Heart Weighed Double the Average of Men His Age... Theories Attach Death to Possible COVID Vaccine" or "Forbes Terminated Corruption Researcher After He Looked Too Closely at Fauci’s Financials. This is What He Found" as if they uncovered some sort of insidious plot (they did not) or "Aborted Human Remains Used in the Production and Testing of Vaccines — Charisma News", which eimplies that fetal tissue is regularly used in making vaccines, which is untrue. (see: www.goodrx.com/health-topic/vaccines/do-vaccines-contain-fetal-cells)
See: hxxps://mediabiasfactcheck.com/stillness-in-the-storm/
This site has links to discredited sources such as bitchute, GAB, Banned Video, Project Veritas, MeWe and Rumble
The website lacks transparency as it does not name authors or disclose ownership which is yet another example of just how dodgy this site is.

Needless to say, the WOT rating of "N/A" is ridiculous since this site clearly has the hallmarks of a scam promotion site. Clearly WOT does not have the ability to accurately assess a site's trustworthiness beyond relying upon third-party blacklists which do not take into account the nature of any site.

Please feel free to rate this site accordingly: https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/stillnessinthestorm.com

A440
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

Why Alleged Political Sites Should Be Rated

Post by A440 » Wed May 25, 2022 5:12 pm

I've noted on some scorecards some WOT members bemoan the lower ratings of some sites which deliberately use fraudulent and scam-driven tactics in promoting their interests. They claim that political opinion should not be used as a criterion for rating a site, however that notion is very clearly outdated and defunct.

Why should supposedly political sites be held accountable and rated as one would rate a site that promotes unethical and fraudulent behaviour?

Consider this artlcle as a prime example: "The Anti-Vaccine Movement’s New Frontier — A wave of parents has been radicalized by Covid-era misinformation to reject ordinary childhood immunizations — with potentially lethal consequences."
Though she (doctor) notes that vaccine hesitancy is not new — doctors in relatively conservative Orange County, in particular, have weathered earlier anti-vaccine flare-ups — the politicization of the issue seems different this time. “I have this worry in the back of my mind — that we’re up against something that we have never seen before,” she says. “To have something that could be anti-science as part of a political identity and culture is very concerning. . . David Broniatowski, an associate professor at George Washington University who studies online misinformation, says that because COVID vaccines have become so charged politically, one of the largest groups in the country, white conservatives, may have also become the most susceptible to the skulduggery swirling around vaccines. “To my mind, they are a vulnerable audience that is targeted for manipulation by a pretty small number of grifters,” Broniatowski says. “It’s a crazy scenario where a dominant demographic in the country may be the most vulnerable population right now.
See: www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/magazine/anti-vaccine-movement.html

Thanks to the weaponization of information or disinformation in politics, the incentive to employ deceit, fraudulent tactics such as mimicking legitimate news organizations and their sites, deliberate disinformation or just plain lying is deeply unethical and not unlike the for-profit sites which run scam operations. The monetization of fraud, though political in nature, is still fraud and these sites should be evaluated and rated accordingly, especially considering how this activity has the potential to harm not just the social welfare of a country but to cause and contribute to death and disease — as demonstrated in the above article.

A440
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

Why Alleged Political Sites Should be Rated – part two

Post by A440 » Tue May 31, 2022 1:36 pm

We live in an age of fear and paranoia which has been fueled to new heights by the spread of cheap and easy to get information through the internet. Unfortunately much of this information is of dubious quality and has made promoting scams so much easier.
These scams range from urban legends and publicity stunts to deliberate political disinformation. The COVID pandemic and the growing prominence of health and political misinformation and conspiracies online have created the perfect environment for snake-oil salesmen to thrive, tapping into distrust in and legitimate concerns about everything from the medical community, the healthcare industry to elections for public office. (www.theverge.com/23071138/ehs-sensitivity-radiation-snake-oil-cell-phone-protection)

Out of the different types of scams, conspiracies are among the most insidious. The difference from an actual conspiracy to a conspiracy theory is one of proofs. Cases of criminal conspiracy are built on solid and provable evidence — not hunches, coincidences, claims or fabricated information like memes or social media posts. Conspiracy theories can be deceptive in that they often incorporate real-life events or factual information, which are strung together in a fictional narrative which is not borne out in facts, thus, in some instances, they might make sense but when you dig deeper, you start noticing the lack of consistency and fact-based proof, it becomes apparent that a conspiracy theory is false.

A 2019 poll from Insider found that nearly 80% of people in the United States follow at least one unproven theory, conspiracy or not. Currently, the Republican Party is seeing a surge in their party’s deliberate use of conspiracy theories for political purposes, one minor example being “Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared to push a baseless conspiracy theory about the Texas shooter, suggesting he was into 'wearing eyeliner' and 'cross dressing’” where Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R) repeated a baseless rumour about the shooter being a cross-dressing transvestite, which is a deliberate attempt to shift scrutiny from Republican pro-gun policy to someone else who isn't Republican. See: www.businessinsider.com/marjorie-taylor-greene-pushes-baseless-conspiracy-theory-about-texas-gunman-2022-5
Rep. Paul Gosar (R) promoted a similar theory, calling the shooter a "transsexual leftist illegal alien" which is a completely false allegation. This makes sense in a time when Republicans have sought to portray transexuals as being macabre and dysfunctional people who are bad and not Republican, thus we have a combination of labeling or framing an issue, combined with scam conspiracy as a negative-psychological political tool.

The Republican Party in America has deliberately sought to harness the energy of negative psychology which is inherent in conspiracies and is currently focused upon the deliberate false claims of Donald Trump, regarding election fraud in 2020a claim which has been repeatedly demonstrated in court and elsewhere as being false.
See:
www.pbs.org/newshour/show/exhaustive-fact-check-finds-little-evidence-of-voter-fraud-but-2020s-big-lie-lives-on

www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-courts-election-idUSKBN2AF1G1

www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/feb/02/viral-image/no-most-americans-dont-believe-2020-election-was-f/

news.yahoo.com/ap-looked-2020-vote-fraud-120554815.html

www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-55016029


As part of this conspiracy campaign, which has seeped into many parts of the party, there are efforts at the state level to incorporate this theme into supposed attempts to prevent further fraud with efforts which, in fact, may harm future elections. Cleta Mitchell, a Republican lawyer and architect of Donald J. Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election is central figure in the scheme to reverse the 2020 election is mobilizing grass-roots activists into an “army of citizens” trained to aggressively monitor elections:
Working with a well-funded network of organizations on the right, including the Republican National Committee, she (Mitchell ) is recruiting election conspiracists into an organized cavalry of activists monitoring elections. . . She has tapped into a network of grass-root groups that promote misinformation and espouse wild theories about the 2020 election, including the fiction that President Biden’s victory could still be decertified and Mr. Trump reinstated.
One concern is the group’s intent to research the backgrounds of local and state officials to determine whether each is a “friend or foe” of the movement. Many officials already feel under attack by those who falsely contend that the 2020 election was stolen.
See: www.nytimes.com/2022/05/30/us/politics/republican-poll-monitors-election-activists.html

a partial example of organizations and their sites which openly promoting the election fraud scam are:
whoscounting.us
voterintegrityproject.com
warroom.org
electionintegrityfight.com
paintegrity.org
fraoc.org
conservativepartnership.org
pureintegritymichiganelections.org
rightlanenetwork.com


I would point out that the last listing (rightlanenetwork.com) actually seems to be a pretty straightforward site for a political organization until one checks their links to organizations such as uncoverdc.coma site founded in 2019 by Qanon promoter Tracy Diaz, which is a source of political and medical disinformation (COVID) and links to itself and other discredited sources (OANN, rumble and twitter accounts) and is not a legitimate source of vetted news information.
See: www.mediabiasfactcheck.com/uncoverDC/

Even supposedly established Republican organizations and sites have embraced this election scam, such as heritage.org or the Heritage Foundation, which has always promoted milder forms of disinformation and extreme bias.
(see: www.heritage.org/election-integrity)
See: www.mywot.com/scorecard/heritage.org

Clearly we are in a new era of scam websites which use weaponized disinformation, promoted as fact for the sake of political profit, as opposed to political opinion or points of view, which traditionally has not been used as criteria for rating sites here on WOT.
The status quo has clearly changed for the worse.

A440
Posts: 4924
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

OpposeTheFraud.com & Substack.com — Anti-vax Disinformation

Post by A440 » Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:34 am

This site attempts to promote itself through bogus substack accounts (jamesroguski.substack.com/p/oppose-the-fraud?s=r)
and simply is a conspiracy site with links to videos which promote bogus claims.

OpposeTheFraud.com
This site promotes over the top ranting about vaccines and links to a number of conspiracy and false informational videos on rumble, bitchute, Dr. Robert Malone, rokfin and the infamous Children's Defense League. There are no legitimate links to valid medical sources whatsoever
Sites like this is why I rate substack.com so poorly — not factchecks, no vetting — just cheap internet content without facts or quality. Substack is the bitchute for provocateurs who use it as a nexus to link to disinformation and conspiracy videos, just like this case.

Please feel free to rate this accordingly:
https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/OpposeTheFraud.com

https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/substack.com

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