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Energy Therapy/Facebook

Spiritual meme Facebook group labeled coronavirus misinformation ‘super-spreader’

The page started out as a place to share spiritual memes. It's now sharing coronavirus conspiracies.


Collyn Burke

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 28, 2020

Energy Therapy UK, a Facebook page that started out as a place for spiritual memes and inspirational quotes is now being deemed a “super-spreader” of coronavirus-related misinformation.

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News Guard, a website dedicated to fact-checking online sources of news and information, named the group along with 30 others in its round-up.

According to the site, it was looking for groups “that repeat, share, and amplify these [coronavirus] myths — from false cures to conspiracy theories about the virus.”

The site lists a March 20 post from the Energy Therapy website as the reason for its placement on the list. The post contained misinformation connecting 5G to the spread of COVID-19.

The Energy Therapy Facebook page, which was launched in 2009, originally started as a way for people to share inspirational quotes and to advertise for remote tarot card readings, chakra healing sessions, and coaching sessions.

“Our mission is to help others live a spiritually awake, grounded life,” the page’s about section reads. “One cannot separate spiritual teachings from the grit of life. It is our challenges, personal and collective that either put us back to sleep or wake us up. The choice is ours.”

But according to BuzzFeed, the tone of the page changed a few weeks back when the posts from page runners Jaime and Jennifer Tanna took a more political turn. The page featured fewer and fewer inspirational quotes plastered on scenic backdrops, and more that spread COVID-19-related myths.

“There are smart people in this world, and if there was a virus, they would have isolated it by now,” Jaime said in a video posted to the page. “And they would have done other things. And they would be using a test that was much more accurate. This is all media hype and bullshit.”

While some of the posts have been flagged by Facebook for containing false information, most of them have not been removed by the site.

Followers of the page have also noted the change in attitude of the page.

“Yeah, I’m outta here,” one user wrote. “Ya know, because science. You might want to read up.”

While Facebook has left many of the posts up, the social media site’s fact-checking team has put warning’s in place for those that they find contain false or misleading information.

A spokesperson for Facebook told BuzzFeed that the company is trying to do more than just remove harmful content relating to the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re also distributing authoritative health information across our apps,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “So far we’ve directed over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities through our COVID-19 Information Center — with over 350 million people clicking through to learn more.”

A representative from Energy Therapy did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

H/T BuzzFeed


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*First Published: Apr 28, 2020, 4:09 pm CDT