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Anti-vaxxers/Anti-NATO: Same Audience, Same Narrative?

Anti-vaxxers/ Anti-NATO

Anti-vaxxers have a new battle, called NATO! They do not share the same facts about the war in Ukraine and they are not planning to stay quiet about it!

Conspiracy theorists see the invasion of Ukraine as another attempt of a great global conspiracy and assert that there is an obvious link between the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine. In fact, one of the aberrant theories given by plotters is that Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine to destroy biomedical laboratories where the USA would be working on the next Covid.

This myth about the link between the Covid-19 vaccine and the war in Ukraine was first published in the most prominent conspiracy channels before it was picked up by Sputnik Telegram messenger and then became the official conspiratorial referential narrative!

In fact, the switch has been so flagrant in conspiracy content that people made many memes and jokes about it.

“The conspiracy sphere is an empty shell of sorts that aggregates as news unfolds,“ said Pauline Talagrand, who’s overseeing Agence France-Presse’s fact-checking work worldwide. “Whether it’s vaccines or masks, there is always something that will trigger people who can be easily manipulated and are distrustful of traditional information.“

REPRODUCING THE SAME DISINFORMATION SCHEME

Conspiracy theorists claim that the facts about what is really happening in Ukraine are being manipulated. Using the same method they have used during the pandemic, they deny all facts and reports of the mainstream media and the fact-checkers. Those who denounced the anti-Covid measures as a violation of freedom and cried scandal are today’s pro-Putin and frontline defenders of an illegal invasion of a country.

Fueled by Russian state media outlets that had become a go-to source for alternative news for many of these conspiracy groups — are based on common ideological roots between anti-vaxxers, QAnon believers and the Kremlin, including a distrust of traditional media and political elites, and hatred of either NATO or the U.S.

There is no evidence of direct coordination between Russia and these groups to spread online falsehoods. Instead, groups already enmeshed in fringe narratives that question mainstream thinking are more inclined to believe other variations of the anti-Western themes coming from Russia.

“The amplification of pro-Kremlin narratives about the war isn’t really about Russia, it’s about the ongoing skepticism that these groups have in their own governments,” said Graham Brookie, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which tracks online falsehoods. “The world’s attention is focused on Russia’s invasion. It’s only natural Ukraine would become the main talking point in conspiracy groups.”

Read the original article on Politico



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