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Newsletter: Yet another ‘false flag’ conspiracy

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Andrew Wyrich

 

Mikael Thalen

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 11, 2022   Updated on Apr 13, 2022, 3:00 pm CDT

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Hello fellow citizens of the internet! Andrew here. Welcome to today’s edition of Internet Insider

I hope you had a good weekend. I spent most of mine watching baseball

To kick off our week, we’ve got some key reports about artificial intelligence and how people are putting on a pretend trial of Anthony Fauci. 

Plus, our Tech Reporter Mikael dives into how QAnon followers think the recent shooting in Sacramento is a false flag in his “One Dumb Conspiracy” column. 

Let’s dive into the news. 

A.W. 


BREAK THE INTERNET

PRETEND: Today, people pretending to be prosecutors will begin presenting a pretend case against Dr. Anthony Fauci to decide whether he should be indicted for a case that “involves the death of millions.” Our Politics Reporter Claire has an analysis on the event, which she says “promises to be equally pointless and absurd.” 

AI: An artificial intelligence lab has created a new tool that can turn any descriptive sentence into realistic-looking images and art. The system was fed countless pictures and was trained how to create imagery based merely on what it describes as “natural language.” An example? “A wise cat meditating in the Himalayas searching for enlightenment.” 

SURVEILLANCE: A college professor has revealed in a viral TikTok just how much the popular learning management software Canvas allows teachers to see when students leave a quiz page. You can check out more about what teachers can see in our full report here


QAnon followers are exploiting the mass-shooting in Sacramento by calling it a ‘false flag’

Conspiracy theorists have responded to the mass-shooting in Sacramento, California, last week by calling the tragic incident a “false flag.”

The shooting, which occurred on April 3, left six people dead after at least five gunmen opened fire in the city’s downtown area. 

Police say the violence came about after a dispute between two groups of opposing gang members. At least three people have been arrested so far in connection with the shooting.

Yet where everyday Americans saw a horrific tragedy, conspiracy theorists saw a devious plot staged by the government in order to dismantle their gun rights.

Over on Telegram, a channel supporting QAnon—the conspiracy theory that believes former President Donald Trump is secretly battling a global cabal of child-eating pedophiles—noted that calls for gun control had begun. While not at all surprising, conspiracy theorists responded by stating that such demands were evidence that the entire event was fabricated.

“So the CIA did a false flag and again with the bullshit to take away 2 amendment rights,” one user wrote. “Where’s all these dying persons that could solve all our problems for the cost of a projectile.”

After President Joe Biden responded to the shooting by calling for new gun laws, users over on Twitter began making conspiratorial statements as well.

“False Flag. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR GUNS!” one user wrote. “JUST IN: President Joe Biden issues statement calling for new gun control laws after Sacramento mass shooting.”

Other conspiracy theorists argued that the shooting was intended to take the attention away from whatever subject they were currently obsessed with.

At least one Twitter user said the shooting was staged to take attention away from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while another stated that it was actually intended to stop the trading of precious metals such as silver.

Unsurprisingly, allegations that those involved in the shooting were actually “crisis actors” hired by the government were all over social media as well.

“Crisis actors busy in Sacramento,” another Twitter user said.

Despite making such sensationalist claims after every mass shooting over the last two decades, nation-wide gun confiscation has yet to take place. In fact, given that there are an estimated 400 million firearms in circulation in the U.S., such a move wouldn’t even be remotely feasible

Conspiracy theorists will continue to portray nearly every tragic event as a false flag regardless of the facts.

Doing so allows them to ignore the harsh truth of reality and instead believe that all the world’s evils are orchestrated by their political enemies.

Mikael Thalen


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🔑 KEY STORIES

Users were shocked when a former intern revealed a video of his ex-boss, tech CEO Lawrence Griffith, cursing him out in a viral TikTok

Miller may be removed from the Flash franchise due to reports of violent and erratic behavior.

There are so many—some of them are so long—that knowing where to start can be daunting.*

To mark the fourth anniversary of the first QAnon drop on 4chan, the Daily Dot tells stories about Q that haven’t been looked at. 

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BEFORE YOU GO

The whole Starbucks anti-union saga continues. A viral TikTok is alleging that the company’s corporate offices targeted a union leader with an intimidating phone call

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*First Published: Apr 11, 2022, 12:00 pm CDT