background preloader

How three conspiracy theorists took 'Q' and sparked Qanon

In November 2017, a small-time YouTube video creator and two moderators of the 4chan website, one of the most extreme message boards on the internet, banded together and plucked out of obscurity an anonymous and cryptic post from the many conspiracy theories that populated the website's message board. Over the next several months, they would create videos, a Reddit community, a business and an entire mythology based off the 4chan posts of “Q,” the pseudonym of a person claiming to be a high-ranking military officer. The theory they espoused would become Qanon, and it would eventually make its way from those message boards to national media stories and the rallies of President Donald Trump. Now, the people behind that effort are at the center of a fractious debate among conspiracy enthusiasts, some of whom believe the three people who first popularized the Qanon theory are promoting it in order to make a living. Part of the Qanon appeal lies in its game-like quality. The anons

Related:  How to Think Critically. Fake NewsUseful informationrevirescoData Media/JournalismDangerous, Influential Manipulators

What are deepfakes – and how can you spot them? What is a deepfake? Have you seen Barack Obama call Donald Trump a “complete dipshit”, or Mark Zuckerberg brag about having “total control of billions of people’s stolen data”, or witnessed Jon Snow’s moving apology for the dismal ending to Game of Thrones? Answer yes and you’ve seen a deepfake. The 21st century’s answer to Photoshopping, deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make images of fake events, hence the name deepfake. Want to put new words in a politician’s mouth, star in your favourite movie, or dance like a pro? Then it’s time to make a deepfake.

Is this the end of forests as we've known them? Camille Stevens-Rumann never used to worry about seeing dead trees. As a wildland firefighter in the American west, she encountered untold numbers killed in blazes she helped to extinguish. She knew fires are integral to forests in this part of the world; they prune out smaller trees, giving room to the rest and even help the seeds of some species to germinate. The Secrets of Frida Kahlo's Bathroom The Secrets of Frida Kahlo's Bathroom by Vivien Lash The confident handwriting of Frida Kahlo's diary watches over the entrance to the display of her possessions at London's V&A in Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up (until November 4, 2018). It almost doesn't matter what's written in Spanish; the words themselves seduce you. There is something evocative about ink on paper concealed within the pages of a journal. Collected by Madonna, more famous than Tequila, Kahlo's famous face with its monobrow and mustache is easily co-opted as feminist icon, female artist, wronged wife.

We’re Never Going Back to the 1950s Like Putnam’s beloved bowling alleys, cinemas are an example of the decline of semiweekly gatherings in the United States—even if they’re less chatty establishments. In the 1940s, the average American bought more than 30 movie tickets a year, regularly packing into theaters with scores of strangers. In the past few years, that figure fell below four.

How Anti-Asian Activity Online Set the Stage for Real-World Violence Negative Asian-American tropes have long existed online but began increasing last March as parts of the United States went into lockdown over the coronavirus. That month, politicians including Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican of California, used the terms “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese coronavirus” to refer to Covid-19 in their tweets. Those terms then began trending online, according to a study from the University of California, Berkeley. On the day Mr. Gosar posted his tweet, usage of the term “Chinese virus” jumped 650 percent on Twitter; a day later there was an 800 percent increase in their usage in conservative news articles, the study found. Mr.

NewsFeed Defenders Our new media literacy game teaches players how to detect and disregard disinformation and misinformation in today’s chaotic environment. Learning Objectives Identify markers of verification, transparency, accountability, and independence in news stories.Define and identify problematic news items, and other news-related types of misinformation.Explain a variety of strategies to verify images and information.Evaluate text for bias based on word choices and framing methods.Use third-party information to judge the credibility of a source.Evaluate the benefits and challenges of digital news and social media to a democratic society. 50 'Cool Guides' People Shared On This Group That Contain Information They Don't Teach At School One of my secret pleasures (and feel free to chime in if you’re a geek like me) is looking through various colorful guides and infographics, from what plants are edible in forests to hypothetical explanations on how best to survive the zombie Apocalypse that 2020 promised but never delivered. The multi-million-member ‘Cool Guides’ community on Reddit is the prime place to go to for (yup, you guessed it!) cool guides. From aesthetically pleasing and very informative ones to quirky and funny ones, you’ll find a bit of everything to keep those noggins of yours learning and yearning for more, dear Pandas. Bored Panda had a lovely chat with redditor Dadschool, who founded the r/coolguides subreddit way back in 2014 and is still its head moderator to this very day. Having started the sub with no real expectations of forming a community around it, he filled a niche on Reddit that had been empty.

Site Not Available The 11 children found on a makeshift compound north of Taos were being trained to commit school shootings, according to documents filed Wednesday. According to the criminal complaint a foster parent of one of the 11 children told investigators that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle "in preparation for future school shootings." Over the weekend, police found 11 children on a makeshift compound north of Taos, near Amalia, New Mexico. The compound was discovered while law enforcement was trying to find 4-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj. The boy was reported missing out of Georgia by his mother in December of last year.

Why Social Media Makes Us More Polarized and How to Fix It Every time I log onto Facebook, I brace myself. My newsfeed—like everyone else’s I know—is filled with friends, relatives and acquaintances arguing about COVID-19, masks and Trump. Facebook has become a battleground among partisan “echo chambers.” But what is it about social media that makes people so polarized? To find out, my colleagues and I ran a social media experiment in which we divided Democrats and Republicans into “echo chambers,” or small groups whose members affiliate with just one political party. Next, we picked the most polarizing issues we could think of: immigration, gun control and unemployment.

Pro-Trump outlet misreads CDC report: Expert "disturbed" by scientific misrepresentation For those who find that Fox News isn't right-leaning enough, One America News Network (OANN) has filled that gap. The cable show and news site, though launched three years before Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, emerged as a mainstay for pro-Trump propaganda during the course of his presidency. The network notoriously amplified Trump's meritless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

There is no middle ground for deep disagreements about facts Consider how one should respond to a simple case of disagreement. Frank sees a bird in the garden and believes it’s a finch. Standing beside him, Gita sees the same bird, but she’s confident it’s a sparrow. What response should we expect from Frank and Gita? If Frank’s response were: ‘Well, I saw it was a finch, so you must be wrong,’ then that would be irrationally stubborn – and annoying – of him.