Information Warfare Education, Propaganda, and How to Tell the Difference

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#81

No, this is not a leftist conspiracy theory, I don’t know why you keep claiming it is, or trying to imagine some innocuous alternate reading of their views. Q adherents make their beliefs very clear, and have been in places like 8chan (ironically well known for being a major source of child pornography). They have videos with millions of views making these exact claims. They are literal claims, to be taken literally.

There was an anonymous poster named “Q”, first on 4chan and then 8chan, who made cryptic posts and claimed to be part of Trump’s cabinet, and led people to believe that Trump was bringing an “oncoming storm” to rid the world of the satanic pedophile elite. This resulted in a huge body of “researchers” (know as “cookers”) who tried to create various “proofs” that Q’s claims and predictions were true. They claimed, for example, that John McCain was extrajudicially executed for being part of the “deep state”. Their proof? Q said about McCain, “every dog has his day”, and then a couple years later McCain died the day before “National Dog Day”. This is the depth of logic taking place here. They also claimed that Hillary was under house arrest, and that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was assassinated and replaced with a clone.

These aren’t metaphors. They are literal claims, repeated by millions of people via YouTube, Parler, and Gab, and believed Trump was sent by God to eliminate the satanic cabal.

If it all sounds too crazy to you, that’s because it is. And it directly resulted in the failed insurrection on January 6th.


#82

Sorry dude - you’re a victim of The Grand Narrative. And no, not even Alex Jones was involved…

The “Insurrection” looked like a Costume Parade, because well, it was a Costume Parade.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

But there is this… But to claim “Insurrection”?

“FBI investigators did find that cells of protesters, including followers of the far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, had aimed to break into the Capitol. But they found no evidence that the groups had serious plans about what to do if they made it inside, the sources said.”


#83

Why not wait on what ever gets presented tomorrow instead of preemptively spinning to discredit?


#84

If you want to have a conversation about information warfare and propaganda, then you need to take the full scope of the Qanon phenomenon into account. It is absolutely a clear example of mass delusion resulting from deliberate disinformation. But you would need to be willing to take a careful and critical look at the fringes of your own preferred political affiliation, and the sorts of unfounded conspiracy theories that are emerging from those dark places. Just like I am willing to call out antifa and other morons on the left for being the idiot edgelords they are, rather than trying to equivocate or rationalize their behavior.

Saying all republicans are Q adherents would be like you saying everyone on the left is a Marxist Critical Theorist pushing for open borders. And I know you would never say something like that :slight_smile:

It really doesn’t need to be a divisive conversation. I am not saying all Trump voters are Qanon, but I am saying all Qanon members are Trump voters, and that the GOP as a party is having some real difficulty with unfounded conspiracy theories. The left also had issues, but right now we are talking about Q, one of the greatest sources of propaganda, misinformation, conspiracy theory, and information warfare in generations, which achieved an unnerving critical mass of influence in our politics.

Why else do you think Giuliani was perma-banned from Fox today, a couple days after that embarrassing memo was released confirming they knew the “Trump won the election” narrative was completely fraudulent from the beginning? Why else did Sydney Powell’s “kraken” became such an absolute joke? These are literal conspiracy theories being pushed by the former twice-impeached President and his cronies.


#85

Why not wait on what ever gets presented tomorrow instead of preemptively spinning to discredit?

Because the draft was leaked yesterday, though as I said, we will have confirmation later today.


#86

Sorry dude, your a victim of the Grand (Old Party) narrative.

Qanon is one of the clearest examples of propaganda and information warfare, but you are 100% unwilling to admit it, which makes this conversation exceptionally difficult to have.

But Steve Bannon was, apparently. And Roger Stone.

It’s funny to me that you continue to play this down. I wonder what your reaction would be of that was antifa or BLM breaking down doors and windows, beating cops, stealing laptops, and literally smearing shit on the walls?


#87

Come on dude. You know I’m not a fan of your extremist buddies in Antifa and BLM that you so generously give a green light to tossing fire bombs, attaching police, destroying private property and making some of our most beautiful cities essential no-go zones.
Just as I’m not a fan of “mostly peaceful protesters” breaking in to the Capital Building.

What other “Right Extremist” violent events have taken place in the since say mid 2020?


#88

My “extremist buddies”? Who I give a “green light” to?

Jeez man, that strawman is getting bigger with every post. Have you given up on civil discussion?

Notice that not once have I accused you of personally supporting right wing delusions and conspiracy theories. And yet, you keep making ad hominem attacks toward me. Not a good way to go about this.

As for right wing violence:

https://www.start.umd.edu/topics/right-wing-terrorism

Oh, have you seen the videos of the Taliban driving around in the beds of pickup trucks shooting people with paint guns? It looks like they are cosplaying the Taliban! :rofl:


#89

But seriously. If we can’t have this discussion without making it personal and throwing in character attacks, we should find something else to talk about. This should not be a subjective discussion about each other’s interiors, it should be an objective discussion about the various disinformation campaigns that are out there, of which Qanon is one of the most significant.


#90

In the meantime, perhaps the healing power of music can bring some levity to our hearts and help us find some laughs somewhere in the common ground.


#91

So by choosing the language you choose and the multitude of “inferences” you’re not wanting to create a divisive conversation? It’s a problem when you speak authoritatively using politically derived “facts”.

Why did you skip over the Reuters article on the FBI findings to simply re-amplify your Qanon claims, yet claim “it doesn’t have to be a divisive discussion”? IF the Reuters article is “factual”, do you plan on continuing to snipe away with the “Jan 6 Insurrection”?
Are you ever going to acknowledge that Antifa and BLM have orchestrated and executed destruction of portions of some of our most beautiful and previously vibrant cities? And that our Left, including the current Administration, publicly supported these events? Or will you continue to be an Apologist and blame it on the previous Administration and supporters?


#92

It’s not about having a ‘divisive’ conversation. We can disagree like grown ups, without making character attacks against each other. You’ve done it multiple times in this thread, putting words in my mouth I clearly never said. I am not doing the same to you.

For the Reuter’s article:

“…said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.”

So the FBI hasn’t actually said anything, just one former official with “knowledge” of the investigation.

Reuters is a usually tremendously solid source, but I think they jumped the gun on this one. Fortunately there is a full Congressional investigation happening. Which, for some reason, the GOP keeps trying to prevent – which is weird, considering January 6th was obviously done by Antifa and FBI insiders! I guess we’ll wait to see what happens with the subpoenas that just went out.

The fact that it was an failed insurrection by idiots doesn’t make it any less of an insurrection, and doesn’t make it any less of a mostly Qanon-driven event.

Qanon was/is a real phenomenon, with real beliefs, with real true-believers, and they are the ones most responsible for the January 6th insurrection where they beat police officers, broke down doors and windows, and smeared shit on the walls.

I’ve already said many times that some of the BLM protests did turn violent, and that I want those people to be held accountable to the law. In a modern society, nonviolence is always the best form of protest. But they certainly did not burn entire cities to the ground like I keep hearing from right wing media.

You, however, seem to want to hold participants of the 94% of peaceful protests accountable for the 6% of violent protests. Meanwhile, you accuse me of trying to paint all conservatives with the Qanon brush, which I am explicitly not doing. You’ve made one totalizing statement after the other on these boards about the left, about integral, even about me personally – but seem unable/unwilling to accept any criticism about the political right whatsoever, even when I make it clear that I am criticizing a very loud and vocal minority of that party.

All you’d have to say is “Yep, we really have our share of crazies too, and shit like Trump lying about elections, Qanon, and January 6th are deeply embarrassing.”

And then I’d say “Boy howdy, tell me about it, the left has some truly nutso woke fundamentalists and edgelord ‘antifa’ folks who aren’t doing anyone any favors. It’s just mass regression all around.”

And then I’d make a joke about how we should just let the Proud Boy idiots and the Antifa idiots have their pretend civil war in the streets while we stay inside and watch Ted Lasso. (Actually I’ll probably be watching The Foundation, which starts tonight. Very exciting!)

But instead, when I make the history of Q and their absolutely batshit literalist belief system known to you, you try to dismiss it as “oh, they just don’t like the idea of child brides immigrating into the country”, ignoring the fact that these people are making actual delusional claims and circulating them among millions of people.

Democrats are literal satanic pedophiles. Adrenochrome. Extrajudicial executions. Stolen elections. “Plandemic”. Replacing politicians with clones. Shipping children in Wayfair furniture. Hillary killed Epstein. These are just some of the claims put forth by Qanon and Q adherents.

Here is a fuller list of Qanon beliefs:

Failed predictions

HRC extradition already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run. Passport approved to be flagged effective 10/30 @ 12:01 am. Expect massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US to occur. US M’s will conduct the operation while NG activated. Proof check: Locate a NG member and ask if activated for duty 10/30 across most major cities.

—QAnon’s first post on the /pol/ message board of 4chan, on October 28, 2017[107]

QAnon’s first prediction was that Hillary Clinton was about to be arrested and would attempt to flee the country. This prediction failed. Other failed predictions include:[108]

  1. The “Storm” would take place on November 3, 2017. There were no notable events in US politics on that day.
  2. The “Storm” would take place on January 20, 2021, the day of Biden’s inauguration. No coup took place and Biden was peacefully inaugurated.[109]
  3. A major event involving the Department of Defense would take place on February 1, 2018. No significant event involving the Department happened that day.
  4. People targeted by the president would commit suicide en masse on February 10, 2018. No prominent people committed suicide that day.
  5. There would be a car bombing in London around February 16, 2018. There was no bombing.
  6. The Trump military parade would “never be forgotten”. The parade was canceled.
  7. The Five Eyes “won’t be around much longer”. The Five Eyes still exists as of August 2021.
  8. Something major would happen in Chongqing on April 10, 2018. Nothing notable happened in Chongqing that day.
  9. There would be a “bombshell” revelation about North Korea in May 2018. There were no notable developments.
  10. A “smoking gun” video of Hillary Clinton would emerge in March 2018. No video appeared.
  11. Multiple failed predictions that John McCain would resign from the US Senate. McCain remained in the Senate until his death in August 2018.
  12. Multiple failed predictions that Mark Zuckerberg would leave Facebook and flee the United States. Zuckerberg remains CEO of Facebook as of August 2021.
  13. Multiple failed predictions that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey would be forced to resign. Dorsey remains CEO of Twitter as of August 2021.
  14. Multiple failed predictions that Pope Francis would be arrested on felony charges. Francis has not been arrested and remains Pope as of August 2021.
  15. Multiple failed predictions that “something big” would happen or the truth would emerge “next week”.
  16. Multiple failed predictions that Donald Trump would be re-inaugurated on January 20, 2021, despite losing the election. Joe Biden was inaugurated as planned on January 20.[110]
  17. Donald Trump would be inaugurated on March 4, 2021, as the 19th president. This claim stems from a conspiracy theory stating that the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 made the United States into a corporation (a theory developed by the sovereign citizen movement).[111] Therefore, Trump would have been inaugurated as the 19th president (after Ulysses S. Grant) and the country would cease to be a corporation and once again become the country started by the Founding Fathers.[112][113] March 4 is the inauguration date because the 20th Amendment changed the date to January 20, and no amendments to the U.S. Constitution since 1869 are recognized.[114] Joe Biden remains the incumbent president of the United States, counted as the 46th.
  18. Donald Trump would be inaugurated again on March 20, 2021. After the failed prediction that Trump would be inaugurated on March 4, 2021, QAnon “delayed” the inauguration date to March 20,[115] then postponed again to August 13.[116] Biden remained president.

False claims

See also: Murder of Seth Rich conspiracy theory and Satanic ritual abuse

As well as the failed predictions, Q has posted numerous false, baseless, and unsubstantiated claims, such as:

  1. That the CIA installed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a puppet ruler.[117]
  2. A February 16, 2018, false claim that U.S. representative and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hired Salvadoran gang MS-13 to murder DNC staffer Seth Rich.[69][118]
  3. A March 1, 2018, apparent suggestion that German chancellor Angela Merkel is Adolf Hitler’s granddaughter.[119]
  4. A July 7, 2018, Daily Beast article noted that Q falsely claimed that “each mass shooting is a false-flag attack organized by the cabal.”[10]
  5. That Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and others are planning a coup against Trump and are involved in an international child sex-trafficking ring.[120][121]
  6. That the Mueller investigation is actually a counter-coup led by Trump, who pretended to conspire with Russia in order to hire Mueller to secretly investigate the Democrats.[12]
  7. That the Rothschild family leads a satanic cult.[11] Similar political allegations and rumors have circulated since the 1970s. Typically the allegations revolved around investigators using existing Satanic cults to lure and blackmail left-wing activists, or in the case of the Franklin child prostitution ring allegations, Satanic sexual abuse perpetrated by elite Republicans. A significant difference between the older narratives and the QAnon of today is that now elite Democrats are considered the villains instead of Republicans.[122]

#93

And why did you skip out on Giuliani’s Big Lie and his subsequent banning from Fox News, Trump’s lawyer’s written plan for an internal coup, and Sidney Powell’s “kraken” being laughed out of courts?


#94

Oh, here’s another one, which also originated in Q-adjacent spaces, and has found significantly more traction on the right than the left:


He didn’t mention Mr Gates by name but in the US, Roger Stone, a former adviser to Donald Trump, said Bill Gates and others were using the virus for “microchipping people so we can tell ‘whether you’ve been tested’.”

A new YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggests that 28% of Americans believe that Bill Gates wants to use vaccines to implant microchips in people - with the figure rising to 44% among Republicans.


And let’s not forget Michael “They’re Putting Vaccines In Our Salad Dressing” Flynn:


#95

Yes Corey, Q is BATSHIT CRAZY. You continually insinuating that half the nation is complicit in or supports (at least 23% actively “believe”) right in line with Q is about as “Integral” as Mrs Clinton’s statement: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Are you going to follow with articles on the latest regarding “Russia Gate”, “Laptop Gate” developments are those “politically motivated”? In either case, its fair game to paint with subtle innuendo, direct inference, or authoritative politically motivated “facts” that half the voting population is suffering from “mass delusion”.


#96

I never said half the country believes in Q. According to polling data, somewhere between 5-15% of the country appears to believe in Q, the vast majority of whom are Republicans.

It’s 23% of Republican voters at maximum. Remember, only 25% of Americans identify as Republicans.

And yes, Hillary was spot on. There was definitely a sizable portion of Trump’s base who behave deplorably, and Trump’s own “reality distortion field”, commonly associated with narcissistic personality disorder, certainly emboldened them to increase their volume.

And I’d guess you’d stay there’s a sizable portion of Hillary voters who act deplorably as well.

But its always odd to me that Republicans get so offended by Hillary’s statement, when the left is constantly called far worse by Trump, by Marjorie Taylor Greene, and by right wing media. You have talking heads on Fox calling the left “DemonRats” and thinking they are very clever.

Hunter Biden, unlike Trump’s children (and golf caddy!) is not a part of Biden’s administration, so I don’t see how any of that is relevant.

As for Russia Gate, well, there is that pesky bipartisan Senate report that shows there was in fact fire beneath all that smoke, that Paul Manafort did in fact share polling data with Russia, and that Putin was in fact responsible for the DNC hack in 2016, which was then dispersed by WikiLeaks. Interestingly, they also hacked the GOP but that was never published by WikiLeaks. Many believe that the kompromat it contained was just too good to give freely to the public :slight_smile:

And the Mueller investigation was certainly worthwhile, even if just to demonstrate that Trump had fully surrounded himself with grifters and career criminals.

But we are losing the subject here. How about the Big Lie that the election was stolen, which a majority of Republicans still think is true (and in fact a majority think that “believing” the lie is “very important” to being a Republican)? How about Sydney Powell’s “kraken” embarrassment? How about Trump lawyer’s six-point plan to stage an open coup?


#97

#98

Let’s take a look at your YouGov Poll and “Salad Dressing Gate”.

  • I just listened to the Flynn clip. He asked the interviewer “Did you see that someone wants to put vaccines in salad dressings?” Sounds absurd on the surface but not implausible to administer vaccines view food intake. How would you or anyone else know enough to take offense or be outraged by the question? Corey - do you in fact know that it was not proposed to put vaccines in salads or salad dressings? Do you? If you don’t, you’re spreading a conspiracy theory on an alleged conspiracy theory. Why would you post this crap?

On to the YouGov Poll: What’s your point Corey? So 28% of Americans essentially “don’t trust” Bill Gates with rising to 44% of Republicans. Perhaps 19% of Democrats (you might be one of them) don’t like the outsized influence that our Billionaires have within the nation?

You could have easily started a discussion that 73% of Democrats think #46 called COVID19 a “hoax”, with 92% of Democrats thinking #46 did not view COVID19 as a serious theat. The question that wasn’t asked (or published) is if #46’s swift travel ban/lockdown was viewed as xenophobic and racist?

And let’s put your YouGovAmerica poll “facts” in context. It was a paid opt-in internet survey.


#99

I suspect that the election was “stolen”… but not in the way typically assumed. This conjecture is relevant regardless of which side one takes, Left or Right, I’m not taking sides… just stepping outside the box to explore a different slant.

I don’t know much about QAnon, so on that I’ll stay out of that. But the outcome of the US election troubles me. I wonder if there are others, whether on the Left or the Right, who might also share my concerns. Is it a DeepState oligarchy that might actually be running the show, where a Biden with dementia is but a puppet doing their bidding? Let’s unpack this…

With all the security holes in the voting system, with covid as the excuse, the 2020 election was too easy to tamper with. And the do-whatever-it-takes Democrats represent a culture of, well, do whatever it takes.

The troops on the ground knew what was expected of them, and if opportunities for fraud existed, we can assume that they’ve been taken advantage of. They took the do-whatever-it-takes message to heart, beginning with the Pelosi/Schiff/Schumer impeachment farce that rolled from absurdity to absurdity. By troops on the ground, I’m referring to both the foot-soldiers administering the voting process, as well as the voters themselves who internalize the “do whatever it takes” message. It’s their culture, it’s how they roll.

What I am alluding to is systemic electoral fraud, as opposed to fraud engineered and directed from higher up. Systemic electoral fraud is grassroots fraud, which will be difficult, if not impossible, to prove. No, I don’t believe that the fraud was necessarily “engineered” from above… it might have been, but they didn’t really need to. The message to the troops on the ground was clear. Whatever it takes. Vote twice, or thrice? Vote with a fraud driver ID? Vote as a dead person? Whatever it takes.

It was, however, Team Trump’s lapse in due diligence that allowed this farcical situation to arise. Did they really believe that the Democrats would respect democracy? They’re the Pelosi/Schiff/Schumer do-whatever-it-takes party. Team Trump seemed to lack the basic strategic acumen to properly deal with the higher-level systemic parameters of governance, not only in the breakdown of security in voting, but also in allowing BigTech to get away with censoring them and their support base. How does that happen? How does a president with executive authority believe that “monitoring the (censorship) situation” is enough? I guess experience in contruction/real-estate does not translate easily to government administration. The systemic electoral fraud that impacted on the outcome, the responsibility for this was Trump’s, for having failed to stitch up the loose ends. Thanks to Trump’s failure in strategic administration, America is now governed by an oligarchy with their senile, Weekend-at-Bernie’s puppet masquerading as president.

The unravelling has begun. The slide of the US into third-world irrelevance, taking other countries with it, is now unstoppable. It’s just a matter of time.


#100

It’s not? Is there a single case ever of vaccines being administered via something like salad dressing? Seems pretty damn difficult to control dosage. Do you have to drink the entire bottle? Or will a single serving do the trick? Does it come in ranch?

And why is it my job to prove a negative? Do you know for a fact that Putin doesn’t have video evidence of Trump having sexual relations with a 13 year old? If you don’t, you’re spreading a conspiracy theory on an alleged conspiracy theory.

See how that works? I don’t ask you to prove a negative, and you don’t ask me to prove a negative. The idea of sneaking vaccines into people’s body via salad dressing as absolutely idiotic and yes, implausible.

Why would you post this crap?

To show that there is a constant stream of garbage coming from prominent people like Flynn, who are somehow still given legitimacy by voters.

Why do you keep pretending these polls are asking completely different questions? It wasn’t a poll asking about whether people “trust” Bill Gates, and it wasn’t asking “do billionaires have too much control?” It’s a poll asking whether people believe Bill Gates is using vaccines to inject people with microchips.

Trump was 45, by the way. Biden is 46.

Yep, Democrats misfired when they called closing the borders “xenophobic”. Though if we look at the story more carefully, maybe they were criticizing HOW Trump closed the borders – who he closed them to, versus who he didn’t close them to.