A solar flare.

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Solar flare spurs doomsday predictions from conspiracy theorists

Take a look at this week's 'One Dumb Conspiracy' newsletter.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Published Nov 1, 2021   Updated Nov 1, 2021, 9:54 am CDT

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Welcome to the Monday edition of Internet Insider, where we unspool threads of online misinformation—one dumb conspiracy at a time…


A solar flare.

ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY

Solar flare spurs doomsday predictions from conspiracy theorists

If you’re reading this, society didn’t come to a crashing halt last week after a major solar flare made its way toward planet earth, despite what conspiracy theorists were claiming. 

On Thursday, a X1-class solar flare—the most powerful kind of flare—erupted from the sun, according to the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Group.

As noted by Space.com, such eruptions have been known at times to cause temporary radio and satellite communications blackouts.

“The most powerful X-class flares can interfere with radio and satellite communications and supercharge the planet’s aurora displays when they are aimed directly at Earth and accompanied by a massive eruption of solar particles, called a coronal mass ejection,” Space.com said.

But for conspiracy theorists online, the solar flare was a clear sign that a doomsday event was set to take place.

One Twitter user outlandishly suggested that there was no solar flare to begin with and argued that such claims were actually part of a genocidal plot.

“Made up solar flare will be used as an excuse for internet and power outage worldwide,” the user wrote. “They want to kill us faster since they have become impatient and want to reduce the population to 500 million and it’s taking longer.”

Another user claimed that the flare would lead to “10 days of darkness,” a mythical event in QAnon lore that claims a global blackout will be followed by mass arrests and executions of former President Donald Trump’s political enemies. 

“10 days of darkness,” the user said. “This is the excuse. It ain’t what’s really going on.”

Others made vague references to “false flags,” suggesting that the government would use the solar flare as cover for some sort of staged event.

The column continues below. 


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A tweet from a conspiracy theorist about a recent solar flare.

Over on Facebook, the conspiracy theories were even wilder and more prevalent.

One QAnon follower claimed that society would come to a screeching halt but still argued that “patriots” would be in control.

“It’s looking very likely, with everything I’m seeing, that we may be approaching the blackout,” the user wrote. “If you tie the solar flare information with what I’ve decoded this am there’s a built in excuse for the net shut down along with communication interruptions.  As always, be prepared should this event happen and remain calm.  Patriots in control!”

But not everyone predicted the end of the world. Mike Cernovich, who used to promote the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, claimed that he had “energetically” sensed the solar flare all along.

“Ah this explains a lot. Energetically I felt something was off. Had seen a few other high consciousness people say that also,” he tweeted. “Our minds / spirits / call it what you will / are antennas. Listen to those feelings.”

What many seemed unaware of is the fact that a major X-class solar flare already slammed into the earth earlier this year in July.

Unsurprisingly, society did not end. A temporary shortwave radio blackout occurred over the Atlantic ocean and coastal regions.

While scientists have warned that a severe solar storm could one day damage electrical grids and even the underseas cables that make up the global internet, QAnon won’t be there to save you

—By Mikael Thalen, staff writer

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*First Published: Nov 1, 2021, 8:58 am CDT