Self-isolating Oprah Winfrey goaded into "house arrest" denial by conspiracy theorists

Qanon grifters see a new opportunity in the coronavirus scare: anyone self-isolating or quarantined can be described as under "house arrest" for all the usual Qanon fantasy crimes. Oprah Winfrey, among the many thusly targeted, blasted the conspiracy theories with oxygen by publicly denying them on Twitter.

Oprah Winfrey has been forced to deny rumours that she has been arrested for sex trafficking after fake news reports emerged online.

The presenter’s name has been trending on Twitter since the seemingly baseless rumours began, and now Winfrey has reassured fans she is just “sanitising and self distancing with the rest of the world” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She wrote on Twitter: “Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE.

“Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitising and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.”

Accordingly, the imaginary sex crimes of Oprah Winfrey rise high among the trending topics this morning.

Read the rest

The QAnon cult has started appropriating the Punisher skull logo, too

It's bad enough when police officers try to claim the skull symbol of the Punisher from Marvel Comics as their own. Gerry Conway, creator of the character, has spoken out about the absurdity:

It's disturbing whenever I see authority figures embracing Punisher iconography because the Punisher represents a failure of the Justice system. He's supposed to indict the collapse of social moral authority and the reality some people can't depend on institutions like the police or the military to act in a just and capable way. […] Whether you think the Punisher is justified or not, whether you admire his code of ethics, he is an outlaw. He is a criminal. Police should not be embracing a criminal as their symbol.

The Marvel corporation has also gone after weapons manufacturers and others who use their unlicensed IP in their designs. Even the Punisher himself has addressed it in the context of a comic book:

I'll only say this once: We're not the same. You took an oath to uphold the law. You help people. I gave that up a long time ago. You don't do what I do. Nobody does. You boys need a role model? His name is Captain America and he'd be happy to have you.

(This is also a reminder to read Nate Powell's brilliant comic essay on the fashion of fascism, if you haven't already)

But now the Punisher appropriation has taken a step further, with militia groups handing out flyers at QAnon rallies emblazoned with that familiar skull:

Read the rest

How Trump ended up dropping Russian 4chan conspiracies in that Ukraine call

Man, 2019 is weird. Read the rest

German neofascists used Qanon to expand their reach

Germany's Alternative For Germany (AfD) party (previously) are an insurgent neofascist movement with ties to senior mainstream politicians and the country's super-wealthy would-be oligarchs; the party put on a hard push in the the 2018 Bavarian elections and their meme warfare was full of familiar voter-suppression tactics, from garden-variety disinformation to exhortations to stay home on election day. Read the rest

#D5: Advice for people who just realized that Qanon is bullshit

Qanon is an unbelievably stupid conspiracy theory whose underlying bullshittery is mathematically provable, and whose primary proponents are pallsy with the President, and whose adherents include mass-murderers whose crimes are linked to their belief in the Qanon conspiracy. Read the rest

Trump honors Qanon 'Democrat pedophile cult' conspiracy pushers with White House visit

Somehow, Lionel Lebron, the man behind the Qanon 'Democrat pedophile cult' conspiracy theory, managed to meet with Donald Trump on Thursday inside the office of the President of the United States at the White House.

Yes, really. Read the rest

Qanon "codes" are consistent with an English-speaker mashing a QWERTY keyboard

Qanon (previously) is an eye-wateringly stupid far-right conspiracy theory whose proponents spend hours trying to decode alleged ciphertexts created by the cult's leader or leaders. Read the rest

Anonymous declares war on Qanon

Qanon is a person or group behind an unhinged right-wing conspiracy theory that is really too stupid to elucidate (you can listen to this Reply All if you're really interested); it's a kind of trumpian Pizzagate successor that includes great, unhealthy lashings of secret Democratic pedophile rings (because far-right assholes are more worried about imaginary children in nonexistent pizzeria basements than they are actual children in ICE cages). Read the rest