Tag: conspiracy

Sacha Baron Cohen slams Facebook as a home for conspiracy theories

  • Actor Sacha Baron Cohen wrote an op-ed for Time condemning social media platforms for allowing misinformation to spread, and he singled out Facebook in particular.
  • The “Borat” actor, who has come out hard against Facebook before, said the company is a “dutiful ally” to President Donald Trump and attacked the firm for its failure to fact-check misleading political ads and posts.
  • Cohen wrote how the “trifecta” of President Trump, Facebook, and the spread of misinformation has created “a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness” leading up to the 2020 election that could “kill democracy as we know it.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen in an op-ed for Time Magazine called for an end to the proliferation of conspiracy theories on social media platforms — and the actor zeroed in on Facebook specifically.

The actor slammed the company for the role it has played in misinformation spreading

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Expert discusses the importance of getting wise to misinformation, conspiracy theories

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has opened gateways—allowing for people to continue learning and remain connected. But it’s also allowed for the steady flow of disinformation, misinformation and conspiracy theories.

From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—social media is always at our fingertips. Slanted views can spread like wildfire on those platforms, despite efforts to stop it.

Jenny Rice, an associate professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on conspiracy theories. In her book, “Awful Archives: Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence,” she looks to examples that lie at the fringes of public discourse—pseudoscience, the paranormal, conspiracy theories about 9/11, the moon landing, UFO sightings and Obama’s birth record. Such examples, she argues, bring to light other questions about evidence that force us to reassess and move beyond traditional

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QAnon Believers Say Being Banned From Facebook Is Proof of the Conspiracy

QAnon followers were speculating on Tuesday night that Facebook’s new ban on all QAnon groups and pages was part of a complex plan by the Trump administration to root out the “deep state” and arrest their enemies. Or the social media company was trying to squelch the impending news that President Trump was about to crack down on his foes.

QAnon believers were making both arguments. Neither was true.

Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook announced it would remove any group, page or Instagram account associated with the QAnon conspiracy. Within 24 hours, hundreds of groups had disappeared, many of them with hundreds of thousands of followers.

After the ban, QAnon believers began to speculate on Twitter and other social media platforms that Facebook’s move was a sign that the moment they had predicted — Mr. Trump reveals his long fight with satanic pedophiles — had finally arrived.

One tweet, which was

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QAnon: What you need to know about this crazy conspiracy theory


The QAnon movement continues to grow and become even more dangerous. 

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QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that started on anonymous message boards, has jumped from the online world to everyday life. Now the broad and baseless hoax is influencing politics, with dozens of congressional candidates professing belief in a cabal of Satanist Democrats, child-trafficking elite and a deep state determined to topple the president. Just to be absolutely clear: These are bogus claims. 

The conspiracy theory appears to have started in 2017 when an online poster using the handle “Q” claimed ties to President Donald Trump. Other conspiracy theorists found and amplified Q’s posts, known as Q drops, expanding the audience for the cryptic messages. Three years on, QAnon continues to grow at a quick clip, and the FBI says it poses a threat to the nation. 

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Citigroup fires employee who ran QAnon conspiracy website

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Citigroup has sacked an employee in its technology department after it emerged he ran a popular website dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Jason Gelinas, who worked as an information technology specialist, was identified by fact checking website Logically.ai as the operator of the website QMap.pub.

Read more: HSBC, Citi, Goldman and Deutsche Bank pause plans to return to office

He was initially placed on leave from the investment bank but has since been fired, Bloomberg first reported.

“Mr. Gelinas is no longer employed by Citi,” Citigroup said in a statement. “Our code of conduct includes specific policies that employees are required to adhere to, and when breaches are identified, the firm takes action.”

Citi’s code of conduct states that staff members must inform managers in advance if they plan to engage in paid business activity outside the company.

Gelinas reportedly earned more than $3,000

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Facebook Expands Its Ban on QAnon Conspiracy Theory Accounts

Facebook has announced a blanket ban on QAnon accounts in a bid to drastically cut down on content supporting the radical conspiracy theory group.

The strict measures follow less rigorous action taken by Facebook against QAnon in August 2020.

In a post on its site on Tuesday, October 6, Facebook said that from hereon in it will remove all Facebook pages, groups, and Instagram accounts tied to QAnon. It added that while the removal work starts now, the process will take time and could take weeks to have a noticeable effect.

“Our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports,” the company said in its post, adding, “These are specialists who study and respond to new evolutions in violating content from this movement and their internal detection has provided better leads in identifying new evolutions in

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Facebook says it will ban conspiracy group QAnon on network, Instagram


Facebook’s update suggests the rules don’t take effect until late October.


Facebook said Tuesday it is escalating the campaign against QAnon, pledging to remove any Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts aligned with the conspiracy group.

Until now, Facebook only said it would take action against QAnon activity containing discussions about potential violence.

That action, which began in mid-August, came after sharp criticism that it had allowed the extremist conspiracy movement to spread largely unchecked on its platforms. In the month since taking that action, Facebook said it removed more than 1,500 QAnon-related pages and groups for discussions of potential violence and more than 6,500 pages and groups “tied to more than 300 Militarized Social Movements.”.

“But we believe these efforts need to be strengthened when addressing QAnon,” Facebook said in a post on its website.

President Trump & social media: Facebook pulls Trump post comparing COVID-19

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Citigroup fires employee who ran QAnon conspiracy theory website

  • Citigroup has fired an employee who ran a website dedicated to QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory alleging that President Donald Trump is fighting a cabal of human traffickers. 
  • Jason Gelinas, a New Jersey employee of the company, was previously put on paid leave when Logically.ai reported that he operated QMap.pub, a main aggregator of “Q drops,” the messages that are the foundation of the conspiracy theory. 
  • Gelinas’ QAnon website earned 10 million monthly visitors, according to the analytics firm SimilarWeb.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Citigroup has fired an employee who ran a popular website dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory, Bloomberg News first reported on Tuesday. 

Jason Gelinas, a New Jersey man who worked at Citigroup as an information technology specialist, operated the website QMap.pub, which recently earned 10 million average monthly views, according to data from SimilarWeb, a digital analytics firm. 

A spokesperson for Citigroup told

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N.J. man who reportedly ran QAnon conspiracy site fired by his banking employer

Citigroup terminated an employee from New Jersey who was identified as the operator of one the largest websites promoting QAnon conspiracy theories, which falsely claim President Trump is battling a “deep state” plot of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

Jason Gelinas, of Berkeley Heights, was the “sole developer and mouthpiece” of the site, Qmap.pub, according to reports last month by Bloomberg News and Logically.ai, a fact-checking group.

“Mr. Gelinas is no longer employed by Citi,” a Citigroup company spokesperson said Tuesday. “Our code of conduct includes specific policies that employees are required to adhere to, and when breaches are identified, the firm takes action.”

Gelinas, a manager in the company’s technology department, received more than $3,000 a month through a crowdfunding service for supporting the fringe conspiracy website, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported the story. Citigroup’s policy requires that employees report outside businesses endeavors where they receive compensation to managers ahead

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Conspiracy Theories and Public Health

Here’s the latest news from the global pandemic.

Conspiracy theories and public health

As if ventilation, droplets and aerosolized particles weren’t enough to keep track of, conspiracy theories may be yet another factor in the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Beliefs in conspiracy theories about the pandemic could be hurting public health efforts to stop the spread in the U.S., according to a study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. It found that beliefs in conspiracies increased from late March to mid-July, possibly leading to lower acceptance of public health measures like wearing masks.

According to the survey of 840 people, 28% of respondents believed in March that the Chinese government created the virus as a bioweapon; the figure rose to 37% in July. While 24% of people believed in March that the U.S. Centers for Disease

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