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For the conspirators, it was the Covid vaccine that killed Elizabeth II

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WhateverFor the conspirators, it was the Covid vaccine that killed Elizabeth II

The world event, which is the death of the monarch, has awakened supporters of eccentric theories, who also see Hillary Clinton behind her death.

Whoops, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen were well, vaccinated and died (3 months later for him and 20 months for her, aged 99 and 96, but that didn’t deter the conspirators).

Montage found on Twitter

Death of Queen Elizabeth II. gave conspiracy theorists a chance to recycle their usual tactics to sow confusion online, providing a clear example of how disinformation spreads during mainstream news. And so, as the United Kingdom mourns its sovereign, who has died at the age of 96, the Internet thrives on false rumors, photoshopped photos and other smears attributing her death to Covid-19 vaccines or Hillary Clinton.

Misinformation has been circulating since early fears about the Queen’s health, with Twitter accounts impersonating reputable sources such as the BBC and prematurely announcing her death. Then on September 8, Buckingham Palace officially announced the death of Elizabeth II.

“People all over the world have been told about the Queen’s departure and have been affected by it, giving misinformation-mongers an endless reservoir of misleading stories to draw from,” says Dan Evon of the charity News Literacy Project.

Meghan in a ‘Queen is dead’ t-shirt

Among them: a video from a month ago of people dancing outside Buckingham Palace, which was edited to appear as Irish people dancing for joy after being told of the Queen’s death, a fake publication of former United States President Donald Trump claiming that the monarch had passed for him knight, or a fake image of Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, wearing a T-shirt with the words “The Queen is Dead”.

Some blame the death of Elizabeth II. vaccine against the coronavirus, as they have already done in the case of the deaths of American actors Betty White and Bob Saget. Others hold Hillary Clinton responsible, saying the sovereign was in possession of compromising files about the former White House candidate, which she was about to bring to light. This is an old conspiracy theory that the Clintons would have their political opponents assassinated.

When something important happens, an activist always tries to find an angle that fits their own beliefs, according to Mike Caulfield, a disinformation specialist at the Center for an Informed Public (CIP) at the University of Washington. For example, “anti-vax activists are trying to see if there’s a way to blame the death of a public figure on vaccination,” he explains.

Those who subscribe to the ideas of the nebulous QAnon have linked the Queen’s death to their belief that there is a global conspiracy of Satanists and pedophiles, using it to legitimize their movement.

A naked boy runs away from Buckingham

“The Royal Family, given the known close relationship between Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein, has always given QAnon supporters food for thought,” said CIP member Rachel Moran. A popular video among QAnon supporters that spread like wildfire on the social network TikTok, showing a naked boy running from Buckingham Palace, has turned out to be an old promotional clip from a TV show, they say.

A week after Elizabeth II’s death, Zignal Labs reported 76,000 mentions of the Queen linked to Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell (both convicted of sex trafficking) on ​​social media, websites, radio, television and the press. Stories connecting Elizabeth II. with pedophilia, Hillary Clinton and vaccines being mentioned 42,000, 8,000 and 7,000 times respectively.

Conventional explanations are less appealing

The constant coverage of the sovereign and her global influence partly explains the popularity of conspiracy theories surrounding her death, notes Karen Douglas, a professor of social psychology at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom. “Accepting conventional explanations for such a momentous event can be less convincing or less appealing,” he continues.

However, there are ways to avoid falling into the trap of misinformation. Media literacy organizations recommend comparing online posts to reliable news sources and pausing before sharing. “Even a few moments of thought can often make a big difference,” says Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina in Canada.

(AFP/MP)

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