Much of the QAnon conspiracy, anti-masker movement can be attributed to foreign disinformation posted online. This expose points to that fact:
A sprawling online network tied to Chinese businessman Guo Wengui has become a potent platform for disinformation in the United States, attacking the safety of coronavirus vaccines, promoting false election-fraud claims and spreading baseless QAnon conspiracies, according to research published Monday by the network analysis company Graphika.
The report, provided in advance to The Washington Post, details a network that Graphika says amplifies the views of Guo, a Chinese real estate developer whose association with former Trump White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon became a focus of news coverage last year after Bannon was arrested aboard Guo’s yacht on federal fraud charges.
Graphika said the network includes media websites such as GTV, for which Guo last year publicly said he was raising funds, along with thousands of social media accounts that Graphika said amplify content in a coordinated fashion. The network also includes more than a dozen local-action groups over which Guo has publicly claimed an oversight role, Graphika found.
“An executive at Dominion Voting Systems moved to dismiss Newsmax as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit Friday after reaching a settlement with the right-wing media organization,” Business Insider reported Friday. “It’s the first such settlement from a news organization in a defamation lawsuit filed over 2020 election conspiracy theories.”
“Coomer sued Newsmax in December in state court in Colorado over false claims that he took part in an ‘Antifa conference call’ to rig the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump,” the report explained. “He revised his lawsuit in February to bolster his claims against Newsmax, as Insider previously reported.”
A right-wing “patriot” group that detained hundreds of migrants at gunpoint at the southern border this week after raising thousands of dollars online was notified by crowdfunding giants PayPal and GoFundMe that its fundraising campaigns have been shut down, dealing a major blow to the militia’s operation.
Known as the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), the militia has been patrolling a remote stretch of the New Mexico desert near the Mexico border for months with heavily armed members reportedly detaining dozens of migrants a day.
The F.B.I. on Saturday arrested the leader of a right-wing militia that was detaining migrant families at gunpoint near the border in southern New Mexico, as the group faced a torrent of criticism for its tactics.
Hector Balderas, New Mexico’s attorney general, said federal agents had arrested the leader, Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who had been operating under the alias Johnny Horton Jr. Mr. Balderas said in a statement that Mr. Hopkins was arrested on charges of firearms possession by a felon.
“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Mr. Balderas said. “Today’s arrest by the F.B.I. indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”
Five people were arrested Saturday when counterprotesters clashed with members and supporters of a controversial right-wing “Patriot Prayer” group at the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
The group was invited by the school’s College Republicans to lead what was touted as a “Freedom Rally.” While the Prayer group chanted, “We died for liberty, not for socialism,” some of the hundreds of counterprotesters, who dwarfed the number of those at the rally, chanted: “Say it loud, say it clear, racists are not welcome here,” The Seattle Times reported.
The rally remained peaceful for about 75 minutes. But then police in riot gear struggled to keep the sides separated, using their bikes as barriers — and pepper spray — as the protesters began to clash.