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 2020
— a claim which has been repeatedly demonstrated in court and elsewhere as being false.
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.
a partial example of organizations and their sites which openly promoting the election fraud scam are:
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.com
— a 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.
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.
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.