COVID- According to a study by the Press Association (PA), 19 conspiracy groups may shift their focus to spreading misinformation about the climate catastrophe in 2022.
According to one extremism specialist, those who already propagate false information about vaccines and lockdowns could shift their focus to spreading misinformation about climate policies.
During an interview with PA, Ciaran O’Connor, an analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), said that they will “frame” climate policy as a “loss of civil liberties and freedoms.”
He went on to say that phrases like “green lockout” and “climate lockdown” are already being used to refer to conspiracy theories that claim environmentalists would order global lockdowns to help cut carbon emissions.
“It’s a fusion of Covid worlds and climate disinformation worlds,” O’Connor explained.
“I think (that) is where you’re going to see a lot of these groups go,” he continued. “The climate discourse, rhetoric, and discussion are going to be woven into that kind of civil liberties issue.”
Another analyst predicts that conspiracy theories about the climate catastrophe will “intensify” in 2020. People will be thinking about climate change misinformation “quite a lot,” according to Jonathan Bright, an associate professor at the Oxford Internet Institute.
According to O’Connor, conspiracy groups will certainly evolve these ideas via Telegram, a cross-platform messaging service. The expert went on to say that the counter-narrative would have real-world ramifications.
“What you do online has implications offline,” O’Connor told PA. “What we’re seeing in response to that idea… is an increased threat, particularly to public health officials, legislators, and even frontline personnel who are working to safeguard people.”
CBS News reported in November, before the COP26 conference, that climate change conspiracies were quickly spreading on the internet. “We discovered that climate-change disinformation patterns on social media borrow from themes that were successful during the coronavirus outbreak,” Blackbird added. According to the media outlet, AI CEO Wasim Khaled.