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Changing patterns for spreading misinformation on pandemics and climate change.

Covid conspiracy theorists turn on climate change , GUY BELL/ALAMY

Groups spreading misinformation about Covid-19 lockdowns and vaccines are starting to use the same language to spread conspiracy theories about climate change, experts have warned.

As the impact of the pandemic and need for restrictions begins to wane, Covid-19 conspiracy theorists are starting to use terms such as “green lockdowns”, according to analysts at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

The term refers to the belief that, in future, people will be regularly forced to stay at home and restrict their travel and social contacts to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climatechange.

There is no evidence for such claims. Ciaran O’Connor, an analyst at the institute, said that conspiracy theorists would try to framemeasures to tackle climate change in a similar way to lockdowns — as a
“loss of civil liberties and loss of freedoms”.

Such arguments would present campaigns urging people to take fewer flights, use their cars less
often and eat less meat as attacks on individual freedoms rather than as efforts to avert the worst impacts of climate change through collective action.

Dr Jonathan Bright, an associate professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, said: “I think people are going to be thinking about climate change misinformation quite a lot [in 2022].” O’Connor said that such
conspiracy theorists are increasingly turning away from mainstream social media sites, warning: “Telegram has become the platform of choice for far-right, extreme right wing groups, for conspiracy communities [and] for extremist communities in general. Facebook and YouTube… they do have community guidelines, they do enforce them.

 Times 3rd Jan 2022

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/covid-conspiracy-theorists-turn-on-climate-change-lk72pgklv

January 4, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties

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