Right wing conspiracy theories on the polar ice storm

#1
Magical Realist Offline
https://www.insider.com/texas-snow-fake-...AOCRduoZvw

"Several people have died during Winter Storm Uri, which brought snowfall and record-low temperatures to Texas. Because the state is accustomed to its warm climate, the state's energy infrastructure was not prepared for the storm. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) rolled out blackouts to protect the state's power grid, cutting off electricity for millions of people for days.

But while Texans sought heat and shelter, another problem emerged online. Conspiracy theories of outlandish proportions spread in far-right online spaces, including Telegram channels run by promoters of QAnon, the baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging the existence of a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers made up of Democrats and celebrities.

The claims included the false allegations that the snow in Texas was fake and somehow engineered by President Joe Biden and that Bill Gates "blocking the sun" caused the bizarre weather.

Google search trends throughout the week demonstrate the scope of this misinformation. On Wednesday, "fake snow" was a top related-search-query for "Texas snow." On Thursday, "bill gates sun" was a breakout related-query, meaning that the searches grew by more than 5000%.


In addition to conspiracy theorists on social media, traditional right-wing media outlets are promoting misinformation about the cause of the storm, blaming green energy.

Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor at the University of Buffalo who researches media persuasion, said people will "abuse the uncertainty" of an emergency situation "in order to promote their agendas."

Texas weather conspiracy theories are all over the internet

A fringe far-right conspiracy theory claiming that Bill Gates is trying to "block the sun," loosely based on Gates donating money to a Harvard climate experiment called SCoPEx, has been reimagined by climate-change deniers in light of the Texas catastrophe.

One Telegram channel falsely purporting to be Thomas McInerney, a conspiracy theorist and retired United States Air Force general, referenced the bogus claim in a Thursday message to 164,460 subscribers. The post, which was forwarded to other channels and viewed more than 150,000 times, falsely claimed that the situation in Texas "was a planned attack." McInerney, a Trump supporter, has previously pushed the claim that COVID-19 was a "biological attack," but Defense News has reported that the account does not belong to the retired general.


On a Telegram channel popular among QAnon supporters, the idea that the Texas blackouts were "not a coincidence" also reached hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Another conspiracy theory spreading mostly on Facebook alleged that Biden had somehow manipulated the weather to cause the storm in Texas.

The theory appeared to originate from a post by conspiracy theorist Scott L. Biddle, as reported by PolitiFact, the fact-checking website run by the Poynter Institute. Facebook, which has announced increased efforts in cracking down on misinformation, labelled the post as false. Another post by Biddle questions whether the snow in Texas is "real." The Tuesday post does not have a false information label and was shared 441 times as of Friday. Facebook declined to comment.

Brian Southwell, senior director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program in the Center for Communication Science at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, told Insider that misinformation can thrive when "people are worried or concerned for their own well-being," leading them to seek answers, and find information that is sometimes inaccurate.


One's social-media feed is often the first destination in those moments. Social-media feeds are curated not only by interest and social circle, but also by platform algorithms knowing what kind of content you're likely to share. "A vacuum can be a good recipe for a rumor to flourish," said Southwell, who is also an editor of the book "Misinformation and Mass Audiences."

Right-wing climate-change deniers contribute to the problem

With climate-related disasters, misinformation is often weaponized politically, Ophir, the University of Buffalo professor, told Insider.

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic was downplayed by those with an incentive to do so, the Texas crisis — which is largely due to climate change, an already intensely politicized issue — has inspired a new wave of science denial.

Beyond the ludicrous ideas spreading on social media, one massive piece of misinformation is being promoted by right-wing politicians and media outlets. Prominent Republicans, Fox News hosts, and conservative websites have pushed the idea that wind and solar energy are to blame for Texas' disaster.


On his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson promoted the idea that green energy caused the failures of the state's power grid. Many Texas Republicans also blamed the electricity blackouts on frozen wind turbines.

But the majority of Texas energy providers that went offline used fossil fuels, not green energy. The right-wing narrative has also blamed the Green New Deal for the disaster, though no legislation from that leftist congressional climate-change proposal has passed.

Climate-change denial has even played a role in conspiracy theories spread by Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is known for her support of QAnon. Greene falsely claimed on Facebook in 2018 that the Camp Fires, the deadliest series of wildfires in California's history, were caused by lasers in space that were paid for by wealthy Jews. Scientists have said that the series of wildfires were partly fueled by climate change.

Ophir said that dramatic events like natural disasters or the pandemic lead many to place blame on others. "Scapegoating is a big part of dealing with uncertainty and trying to make sense of confusing or negative events," Ophir said."
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#2
Syne Offline
First, how is this law or ethics? Next you'll be posting your UFO conspiracy crap here.

(Feb 22, 2021 01:47 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: But while Texans sought heat and shelter, another problem emerged online. Conspiracy theories of outlandish proportions spread in far-right online spaces, including Telegram channels run by promoters of QAnon, the baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging the existence of a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers made up of Democrats and celebrities.

Again, MR likes to defame the entire right wing (his thread title) with the actions of a relatively small percent of far-right.

Quote:The claims included the false allegations that the snow in Texas was fake and somehow engineered by President Joe Biden and that Bill Gates "blocking the sun" caused the bizarre weather.

Google search trends throughout the week demonstrate the scope of this misinformation. On Wednesday, "fake snow" was a top related-search-query for "Texas snow." On Thursday, "bill gates sun" was a breakout related-query, meaning that the searches grew by more than 5000%.

Google searches do not equate to belief. Many people probably heard some nonsense and wanted to see what it was about.

Quote:In addition to conspiracy theorists on social media, traditional right-wing media outlets are promoting misinformation about the cause of the storm, blaming green energy.

Who? Where? This sounds like the author just ignorantly, or misleadingly, conflated "cause of the storm" with "cause of the power outage". Not surprised MR fell for that.

Quote:A fringe far-right conspiracy theory claiming that ...

IOW, not "traditional right-wing media outlets". 9_9

Quote:One Telegram channel falsely purporting to be Thomas McInerney, a conspiracy theorist and retired United States Air Force general, referenced the bogus claim in a Thursday message to 164,460 subscribers. The post, which was forwarded to other channels and viewed more than 150,000 times, falsely claimed that the situation in Texas "was a planned attack." McInerney, a Trump supporter, has previously pushed the claim that COVID-19 was a "biological attack," but Defense News has reported that the account does not belong to the retired general.

So likely a fringe conspiracy theorist or troll.

Quote:On a Telegram channel popular among QAnon supporters, the idea that the Texas blackouts were "not a coincidence" also reached hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Reach does not equate to belief.

Quote:The theory appeared to originate from a post by conspiracy theorist ...

Are fringe sources the only they can cite for their supposed claim that "traditional right-wing media outlets are promoting misinformation"? Or just morons like MR conflating the two.

Quote:Right-wing climate-change deniers contribute to the problem

Overall, the right does not deny climate change, only the catastrophe hysteria. This is exactly why the left moved to using the term "climate change", because they needed to term that made a much less strenuous claim than the decade of impending ice age followed by decade of impending no more icecaps or snow predictions.

Quote:Beyond the ludicrous ideas spreading on social media, one massive piece of misinformation is being promoted by right-wing politicians and media outlets. Prominent Republicans, Fox News hosts, and conservative websites have pushed the idea that wind and solar energy are to blame for Texas' disaster.

Because they did fail, and had more of Texas' base load been provided by coal, nuclear, and gas, the outages would have been less severe.

Quote:On his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson promoted the idea that green energy caused the failures of the state's power grid. Many Texas Republicans also blamed the electricity blackouts on frozen wind turbines.

Likely cherry-picking, as most, even right wing, sources has faithfully reported the failures in the Texas non-green sources as well.

Quote:But the majority of Texas energy providers that went offline used fossil fuels, not green energy.

But the inclusion of weather-dependent green energy has replaced some of Texas' more reliable power capacity.

Quote:Climate-change denial has even played a role in conspiracy theories spread...

More fringe sources that do not reflect the vast majority of the right wing.
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#3
C C Offline
(Feb 22, 2021 01:47 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: https://www.insider.com/texas-snow-fake-...AOCRduoZvw

[...] But while Texans sought heat and shelter, another problem emerged online. Conspiracy theories of outlandish proportions spread in far-right online spaces, including Telegram channels run by promoters of QAnon, the baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging the existence of a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers made up of Democrats and celebrities.

The claims included the false allegations that the snow in Texas was fake and somehow engineered by President Joe Biden and that Bill Gates "blocking the sun" caused the bizarre weather....


While there doubtless are some cases of scheduled meds being missed, I suspect the bulk of this stuff is akin to yellow journalism that has migrated from traditional supermarket tabloids (baked up by "professionals") to homegrown social interactions on the internet producing them as ideas are swapped back and forth. In recent years this activity has been rewarded by receiving alarmed attention from the mainstream, which encourages more showboating in terms of preposterous, imaginative creativity.

Not unlike the neighborhood gossip mill of the old days circulating rumors that get creatively embellished by each individual in the chain of communications. Each contributor wants to leave her/his mark in the architecture of the evolving fantasies. Whereas traditionally the subjects were limited to mundane taboo affairs (like infidelity), the anonymity of today allows the wild speculative side of people to be released unfettered (i.e., less fear of sounding like a nut mattering, of being socially ostracized).

There may even be a fraternity aspect to it, though these people may usually not be physically meeting together in a lodge, clubhouse, chapterhouse, etc, for their wild parties of hijinks ingenuity.

At some point they may get carried away with their own enthusiasm and inventiveness, just as a collective entity like a mob is holistically less rational and emotionally disciplined than the individuals constituting it.
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#4
Zinjanthropos Offline
It’s all about how many ‘likes’ or ‘thumbs up’ or whatever positive recognition one can collect from the internet. Wilder the conspiracy theory, the better. People want their 15 minutes, some want more. Now I sit and wait for reaction.
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#5
stryder Offline
Unfortunately it's just "different strokes for different wokes".  It's easy to come up with some daft theory or reason, the true self-asserted evil genius in it though is going through college networks/VPNS and TOR networks to self inflate any stupid post similar to "Gangnam style" (*Note: check the number on the watched counter)

While is self-assertive popularism which can be used in guerilla marketing, it's also notibly the problem of todays online climate where some people think it's fashionable or cool to literally surround themselves with botnet fans screaming their name, or at the very least their envisionment. (Much like some people might think that everyone that posts here is my sockpuppet that I use for my own closed Punch and Judy show.... Thats of course "not the way to do it!")

If you want a losely based theory on reality, you could look at how mass manufacturing in one country (China) causes higher levels of pressure due to pollution, that in turn causes the Jet streams to shift in both height and direction. This in turn causes entire shifts in Jet stream positions throughout the globe. It's not something that was purposely engineered to attack the world, just a side effect of putting all your manufactured eggs in one basket (Country)

While more pressure finds itself pushed into the Jetstreams, it increases overall windspeeds and of course the force of those winds. Due to covid the shutdown of such levels of manufacturing reduced the pressure levels for a duration which has caused the overall levels to "flipflop" from high pressure back to low, this give and take has had a direct reaction on weather conditions (It actually proves man made climate change through pollution)

It actually suggests that the only option to deal with this as a problem in the future is to stop placing all the eggs in one basket, dispersing businesses and manufacturing globally while does increase the pollution in areas that originally were getting away without any, will in turn reduce the effects direction the Jet streams which in turn should even out our weather conditions a little.

You are however welcome to believe any weird and wonderful bot inflated theory, however the one I pose can actually be looked at scientifically to see if it's actually tangible.
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#6
Zinjanthropos Offline
Is the desire to be noticed an extension or consequence of Participation Medal recognition?
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