Debunked QAnon conspiracy theories are seeping into mainstream social media. Don’t be fooled.
An emboldened community of believers known as QAnon is spreading a baseless patchwork of conspiracy ..
An emboldened community of believers known as QAnon is spreading a baseless patchwork of conspiracy theories that are fooling Americans who are looking for simple answers in a time of intense political polarization, social isolation and economic turmoil.
Experts call QAnon a “digital cult” because of its pseudo-religious qualities and an extreme belief system that enthrones President Donald Trump as a savior figure crusading against evil.
The core of QAnon is the false theory that Trump was elected to root out a secret child-sex trafficking ring run by Satanic, cannibalistic Democratic politicians and celebrities. Although it may sound absurd, it has nonetheless attracted devoted followers who have begun to perpetuate other theories that they suggest, imply or argue are somehow related to the main premise.
While many QAnon theories and content remain on fringe platforms like far-right message board 8kun, some have made their way into mainstream social media services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. On those platforms, the bogus or misleading material is gaining traction among people who have no idea they’re dabbling in QAnon.
While the major tech platforms have said they’re cracking down on certain QAnon content, much of it continues to circulate.
Here are some key elements to watch out for:
This conspiracy theory was a precursor to QAnon, but it has recently regained momentum and become intertwined with QAnon.
Originating during the 2016 presidential campaign, this falsehood claimed that emails exposed by Wikileaks showed Democrats with ties to Hillary Clinton had been running a child-sex ring from the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria.
None of it was true, but that didn’t stop a North Carolina man from traveling to D.C. to investigate the matter for himself. He fired his rifle in the restaurant before he was arrested and later imprisoned. No one was injured.
The Deep State
A common claim among QAnon conspiracists is that a shadowy network of politicians and bureaucrats secretly collaborate to control the government behind the scenes.
While this claim takes many forms, it generally centers on the suggestion that a cabal of powerful elites is manipulating the world.
For some, the fantasy of a Deep State is a pillar of their belief system regarding government, business and entertainment.
Trump himself has promoted the concept many times, including most recently to assert that a “deep state, or whoever,”at the Food and Drug Administration was “making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics” for COVID-19.
It’s one thing to allege that government bureaucrats are posing an obstacle to progress, or that politicians make too many back-room deals. Those are common criticisms.
It’s another thing to suggest, without evidence, that a secret network of people are coordinating plans to disrupt the rule of law and democracy.
In a letter published by USA TODAY following Trump’s accusations about the FDA, eight agency officials defended their processes and scientific integrity.
“When it comes to decisions to authorize or approve the products we regulate, or to take appropriate action when we uncover safety issues, we and our career staff do the best by public health when we are the decision-makers, arriving at those decisions based on our unbiased evaluation of the scientific evidence,” the officials wrote.
Because of its massive effect on everyone’s lives, COVID-19 has become the target of numerous conspiracy theories connected to QAnon. The World Health Organization has a term for the collision of the coronavirus and misinformation: “infodemic.”
Some QAnon followers have suggested that the pandemic was a Chinese bioweapon or that its eruption was designed in part by Democrats to derail Trump’s reelection chances. Scientists who are studying where the virus originated have generally concluded it emerged in nature and was passed on to humans after passing through animals, starting likely in a bat or pangolin. Scientists and others, including defense and intelligence experts, have said theres no basis for believing the virus was intentionally released as a bioweapon and that it’s false to claim Democrats engineered the release to hurt the president. Some researchers have continued pressing the question of whether the virus was released accidentally from a lab in Wuhan, China, but the prevailing view among scientists is that the scenario is not supported by evidence and analysis.
Others have suggested falsely that Bill Gates, his foundation, or both had planned the pandemic. More recently, QAnon followers have promoted a false interpretation of CDC data, saying it proved that the pandemic was not as deadly as health officials have reported.
Taken together, the pandemic-related theories tied to QAnon illustrate the movement’s appeal, as it attempts to explain frustrating elements of life as developments that make sense in the broader scheme of things.
This hashtag, along with the related #SaveOurChildren, has circulated widely in recent months, posing as a harmless and, in fact, noble cause. Who can’t get behind the idea of saving children?
The problem is that the hashtag has been used to promote QAnon’s false theory that a broad network of pedophiles is using their collective power to run a child-sex trafficking ring.
The hashtag masquerades as a mainstream cause, drawing currency from the unrelated century-old humanitarian group with the same name.
Experts say that QAnon has gained momentum in part through posts with hashtags like #SaveTheChildren because people who share them on social media often don’t realize that they’re amplifying an insidious network of theories that the FBI has called a domestic terror threat.
QAnon started with a mysterious, anonymous person using the name “Q Clearance Patriot” and claiming to be a high-ranking intelligence officer with access to insidious secrets.
The person, known to followers as “Q,” has continued to publish mysterious posts with coded language that followers attempt to puzzle out.
In general, the suggestion that there are secret signals, like clandestine acronyms and jumbled grammar, that can be decoded to reveal the truth about global mysteries bears the hallmarks of the QAnon community, experts say.
It can also take on the form of suggestions that users do their own research or that they have taken the “red pill,” a reference to the film “The Matrix,” in which the main character suddenly understands how his world has been manipulated after he ingests the drug.
Read from source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/09/17/qanon-conspiracy-theories-debunked-social-media/5791711002/
Spain’s competition watchdog opens disciplinary case against Google
Spain’s competition watchdog, the ‘Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia’ (CNMC) has opened a disciplinary case against Google for alleged anti-competitive practices affecting publishers and Spanish news agencies, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
CNMC said it was investigating whether Google had abused its dominant position in the Spanish market. The proceedings involve Google LLC, Google Ireland Ltd, Google Spain, SL., and the overall parent company Alphabet Inc.
The alleged practices also include distorting free competition and imposing unfair conditions on press publishers and Spanish news agencies, CNMC said.
The watchdog’s investigation was sparked by a complaint from the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO).
CNMC will investigate the case over the next 18 months, during which both sides can present their arguments.
According to RTVE, Spain’s national broadcaster, Google will analyse the file and respond to the ‘doubts’ of the CNMC. They said that Google ‘works constructively with publishers in Spain and Europe’ and would ‘need time to analyse the details … as the nature of the claims is still not clear’.
It is not the first action by the Spanish competition regulator against Google, nor the first in which its dominant position in the media sector stands out. In 2021, CNMC already warned that this company and another technology giant, Amazon, monopolised 70% of internet advertising in Spain.
Other lawsuits in the Netherlands and the UK have previously accused the technology company of abusing its dominance in the digital advertising market to harm its competitors. France also fined Google in 2021 for not negotiating in good faith compensation for the media for using its news content.
Read from: https://www.spainenglish.com/2023/03/28/spain-competition-watchdog-opens-disciplinary-case-against-google/
How does technology affect reading and writing?
Technology has dramatically changed the way we read and write in the 21st century. From e-books and online articles to social media and instant messaging, technology has made reading and writing more accessible and convenient. However, it has also brought about new challenges and concerns.
One of the biggest benefits of technology is the increased access to information. With just a few clicks, people can access an endless supply of books, articles, and other written materials from all over the world. This has made reading and writing more accessible for people who may not have had the opportunity to do so in the past. It has also allowed for greater collaboration, as people can now share their writing and receive feedback from a global audience.
Technology has also made writing and reading more interactive. Social media and blogs have made it possible for people to engage with written content in real-time, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with others. This has led to a more dynamic and engaged reading and writing community, with people able to communicate and connect with each other in new and meaningful ways.
However, there are also concerns about how technology is affecting our ability to read and write. One of the biggest concerns is the decline of attention span. With so much information available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stay focused and absorb what we are reading. Many people find it difficult to concentrate on longer written works, and are instead drawn to shorter, more bite-sized pieces of content.
Additionally, technology has led to an increase in informal writing. The widespread use of text messaging and instant messaging has led to the widespread use of shorthand and abbreviations. This has created concerns about the impact it may have on people’s writing skills, as well as the way they communicate with others.
Another concern is the rise of “fake news.” With the ease of publishing content online, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between credible and unreliable sources. This has led to a decline in trust in the media, and has created a need for critical thinking and media literacy skills.
Despite these concerns, technology has also provided new opportunities for writing and reading. E-books and online platforms have made it easier for people to self-publish their work, giving them greater control over the distribution and promotion of their writing. This has created a more democratized publishing industry, and has made it possible for voices and perspectives that may have previously been excluded to be heard.
In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on reading and writing. While there are certainly challenges and concerns, the increased access to information, the ability to connect and engage with others, and the opportunities for self-publishing have all made reading and writing more accessible and dynamic. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important to address the challenges it presents and embrace the opportunities it provides.
How to measure human intelligence?
Measuring human intelligence is a complex task that has been attempted by many experts and researchers over the years. Intelligence is often defined as an individual’s ability to think, reason, and solve problems. However, this definition is not enough to capture all the aspects of intelligence. In this article, we will look at some of the ways that human intelligence can be measured and evaluated.
- Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests: IQ tests are the most commonly used method of measuring intelligence. They are designed to measure an individual’s ability to solve problems, think logically, and understand abstract concepts. The results of an IQ test are expressed as an IQ score, which is a number that represents a person’s intellectual abilities in comparison to the general population.
- Achievement Tests: Achievement tests are designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and skills in specific subjects such as mathematics, reading, or science. These tests can be a good indicator of a person’s intelligence in a particular subject area and are often used in schools and colleges to assess students’ abilities.
- Neuropsychological Tests: Neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate the functioning of the brain and nervous system. These tests can be used to diagnose neurological disorders, measure cognitive abilities, and determine the impact of injury or illness on a person’s cognitive abilities.
- Cognitive Ability Tests: Cognitive ability tests are designed to measure an individual’s mental abilities such as memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s potential for learning and development.
- Behavioral Assessment: Behavioral assessment involves evaluating an individual’s behavior, including their social skills, emotional regulation, and communication abilities. This type of assessment can be useful in identifying areas where an individual may need support or intervention.
- Performance-Based Tests: Performance-based tests are designed to measure an individual’s abilities in real-world tasks and activities. These tests can be useful in determining a person’s practical intelligence and can be used in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.
It is important to note that no single method of measuring intelligence is perfect and each has its own strengths and limitations. Additionally, the results of intelligence tests can be influenced by many factors such as cultural background, education, and experience. As a result, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence.
In conclusion, measuring human intelligence is a complex task that involves evaluating a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and performance-based abilities. While intelligence tests can provide valuable information about a person’s intellectual abilities, it is important to use a variety of assessment methods to get a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s intelligence. By using a combination of tests, experts and researchers can get a more complete picture of an individual’s intellectual abilities and potential for learning and development.
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