The plan was that the interest in this reserve pile would be used to pay for the operational costs of the Libra network. Despite the amount of mainstream media attention that Libra got around the time of its launch, David said that he believes that “Libra is not taken as seriously as seriously as it should be in the cryptocurrency world.” After all, “it was started by four Bitcoiners,” he continued. The largest of these have more than 150,000 followers or members. 112 were here. A prominent anti-vaccine propagandist appeals to QAnon followers. The digital architecture of Facebook groups is also particularly well-suited to QAnon’s collaborative construction of an alternative body of knowledge, Friedberg said. This is an excerpt that has been edited for clarity and length. Getting deplatformed is harmful, but the idea that it would somehow make this disappear is fanciful.”. Q went briefly silent in 2019 when 8chan was forced offline in the wake of the El Paso massacre, but re-emerged on the new site founded by 8chan’s owners, 8kun. While QAnon thrives on Facebook, another social media site took timely and decisive action against it. The platform has created a ready-made digital pathway from public pages to public groups to private groups and finally secret groups that mirrors the process of “falling down the rabbit hole or taking the red pill”. The Instagram accounts were discovered by searching for “QAnon” in the app’s discovery page and then following Instagram’s algorithmic recommendations. A man in the crowd holds a QAnon sign as crowds gather to attend Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, 21 February 2020. n early May, QAnon braced for a purge. Instead, its believers moved on to other platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Discord and – crucially – Facebook. Whether it was because of the spread of COVID-19, the tumultuous elections in the United States, the numerous natural disasters that plagued many parts of the world, things did not go as expected this year, trips were cancelled, events rescheduled; in the business world, fortunes were made and lost for completely unpredictable reasons. “Do the internet companies bear some responsibility? And QAnon followers’ enthusiasm for misinformation is not confined to politics; as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the groups became a hotbed for medical misinformation – something Facebook has claimed to be working hard to combat. “So, when Facebook walked up with the Libra whitepaper, which basically had the same plan that led to the 2008 financial crisis, regulators weren’t happy with it.”, David called the whole thing “bizarre”: after all, “they have an economist, Christian Catalini. David also commented on the public perception of the individual leaders involved with the Libra project. In each episode we explore the science and spirituality of human consciousness and the very nature of our existence, with scientists and spiritual leaders from many walks of life. For more information, read our While Facebook has policies banning hate speech, incitement to violence and other types of content that it considers undesirable on a family- and advertiser-friendly platform, QAnon does not fit neatly into any single category. The uniformity of the response was amazing.”. But the violent anger of adherents to QAnon crossed the line for Reddit in less than a year. “When do you expend ammunition?” Q wrote. At the time of the Reddit ban, one of the largest closed Facebook groups dedicated to QAnon, “Qanon Follow the White Rabbit” had 51,000 members, according to NBC News. “We’re watching a normalization process of these conspiracies, and I think the beast that is Facebook was really the answer to this all along.”. McDermott: Today's GOP 'leaders' are following their base right down the rabbit hole. 2.9K likes. Let the games begin — Review: Alice in Borderland takes us down a deliciously bonkers rabbit hole Alice in Wonderland and Ready Player One meet Lord of … Over the course of reporting this article – about one month – the aggregate membership of the documented groups and pages grew from 2.75m to more than 3m, or approximately 8.5%. Larry Cook, the administrator of Stop Mandatory Vaccination, one of the largest anti-vaxx Facebook groups, has begun incorporating QAnon rhetoric into the medical misinformation he peddles, as well as making explicit invitations to QAnon believers to join his group. Its powerful algorithms are actively recommending them to users who may not otherwise have been exposed to them. Receiving QAnon recommendations from Facebook does not appear to be that uncommon. I will be a long time customer for sure. And on 20 June, just before Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump’s adult son Eric posted a QAnon meme on his Instagram account. Because we know how to move numbers on a computer, and Libra would have to be a part of the financial system if it was going to work with ‘real money’.”. It has a tiny currency. Facebook’s algorithms appear to have detected this synergy between the QAnon and anti-vaccine communities. As a result, nearly a year after Libra 1.0 was announced, Facebook announced Libra 2.0, a new plan for a more scaled-down, regulatory-friendly financial network. The plan was to build a global financial system that could be used by everyone everywhere; however, things did not go as planned. “It’s a potentially dangerous belief; it’s very disconnected from reality; I don’t really think we want more people getting into it,” he said of QAnon. “Our recommendation systems grow the problem,” the internal research said. Memes, videos and posts are often bigoted and disconnected from reality, but not all that different from the content that is shared in non-QAnon, pro-Trump Facebook groups. David pointed out that France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno le Maire, who happened to be in the middle of a live interview when the announcement was published, responded negatively to Libra literally “within minutes” of its first public appearance. I'd found myself going down the rabbit hole of strange YouTube, and it was so weird. “Facebook is a unique platform for recruitment and amplification,” said Brian Friedberg, a senior researcher at the Harvard Shorenstein Center’s Technology and Social Change Project who has been studying QAnon for years. Meanwhile, “they hadn’t finished their software, and they hadn’t finished their economic plan, but they decided to release them anyway.”, Are Alternative Payment Methods the New Banking King?Go to article >>. An Emporium of delights! He regularly polls conspiracy theories and consistently finds that QAnon is “one of the least believed things” out there, well below belief in theories about Jeffrey Epstein’s death, anti-vaccine hoaxes, and Holocaust denialism. Another QAnon supporter, Marjorie Taylor Greene, is likely to be elected to the House of Representatives after she came first in a Republican primary in a conservative Georgia district on 11 June. Terms, Cookies and Privacy Notice. The list of more than 100 QAnon groups and accounts was then generated by following Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and using simple keyword searches. The company also claimed that “all of the Pages” and “the vast majority of Groups” documented by the Guardian had been removed from recommendation algorithms prior to the Guardian’s query. QAnon is hardly an organization, though as a movement it has certainly caused harm and could be considered dangerous. Within the constructed reality of QAnon, Donald Trump is secretly waging a patriotic crusade against these “deep state” child abusers, and a “Great Awakening” that will reveal the truth is on the horizon. Facebook’s own internal research in 2016 found that “64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools”, the Wall Street Journal reported, primarily through the same “Groups you should join” and “Discover” algorithms that promoted QAnon content to the Guardian. David is known as a crypto sceptic, blockchain pundit, and the author of cryptocurrency and blockchain news site Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain. “The only way that blockchains are a better remittance channel than what’s traditionally available is when you’re not worrying about regulation at either end. I love Down the Rabbit Hole! We will send instructions to reset Down the Rabbit Hole with David Gerard. And while YouTube and Twitter have played an important role in providing a broadcast platform for QAnon content, the specific structures provided by Facebook are uniquely suited to the participatory “work” of engaging with QAnon. McDermott: Hawley's populist demagoguery is a smoother form of Trumpism. 3K likes. It’s a massive, massive amount of power for the US. There are innate societal and individual harms to convincing people of a version of reality that is simply false, as QAnon does, said Data & Society research analyst Will Partin. We do not store your information and we do not disclose our sources. Down the rabbit hole: how QAnon conspiracies thrive on Facebook This article is more than 5 months old Guardian investigation finds more than … Recently, Finance Magnates went down the Libra rabbit hole with David Gerard, who recently published Libra Shrugged: How Facebook Tried to Take Over the Money. “Ever since 2008, the one thing that regulators fear is someone trying to do this again. For example, after reading more than 10 years’ worth of material “by and about him,” David Gerard said that “David Marcus strikes me as a completely sincere guy.”, “If David Marcus says that he thinks XYZ, he probably does think those things, and will act as though he does,” David Gerard explained. “You can mechanically take those steps,” he said. “When a common sense of what is real and what is correct breaks apart, it becomes nearly impossible to reach a democratic consensus.”. “That’s partly because they have a fundamentally different epistemology to judge what is true and false.”. 1.5K likes. “Singapore’s a tiny country. New Date ... Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of this event. ), But the potential for damage from QAnon goes well beyond. QAnon evolved out of the baseless Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which posited that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a Washington DC pizza restaurant, and has come to incorporate numerous strands of rightwing conspiracy mongering. Asked about this discrepancy, Facebook said that the pages and groups in question had been marked as “non-recommendable” as of 8 April 2020 for violations of policies against clickbait, viral misinformation and hate speech, but that a page or group can be restored to eligibility for recommendations if its behavior improves for several months. “It’s a weird little story,” David said. Down The Rabbit Hole is allowed to give away 2 Golden Circle tickets on Facebook, allowing the band to see you at home and virtually get you into the show. Leave your name/email (not required) if you'd like to be contacted about this story (will not be disclosed): Be it a typo or a factual error - we do our best but we are also human! Down The Rabbit Hole Theatre Co., Ridgeway Ontario. “It’s like dollarization, which is the word for when a country’s economy is totally overtaken by US dollars,” David said. encouraged to join a QAnon group by Facebook. More than just another internet conspiracy theory, QAnon is a movement of people who interpret as a kind of gospel the online messages of an anonymous figure – “Q” – who claims knowledge of a secret cabal of powerful pedophiles and sex traffickers. If the US abuses the power of the dollar, then people won’t want dollars quite so much anymore.”, However, the US is unlikely to want to abuse its power, because “the US gets really quite a lot out of having the dollar as an international currency. Facebook did not directly respond to questions from the Guardian about its policy considerations around QAnon content. 2 talking about this. Moreover, Facebook is not merely providing a platform to QAnon groups. WWG1WGA is a QAnon catchphrase. ”enough to actually affect economies.”, David also pointed out that the plans for Libra in its early stages closely resembled “a money market fund,” in other words, “the things that were so popular in 2008, like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. In early May, QAnon braced for a purge. They were thinking about a big plan from the beginning when Morgan Beller was initially telling everyone about this thing, she was saying things like, ‘how can we apply blockchain technology to our user base of two billion people?’”. “I have discussed the concept many, many, many times that vaccines destroy our connection to God and that we are in a spiritual war with Principalities of Darkness that have a death wish for our children, and humanity at large,” he wrote in one QAnon-inflected post. And given the current state of the financial landscape across the globe, Libra could have easily become massive. “The pic has been taken down but the message was received!”, Why we are addicted to conspiracy theories, Republican QAnon conspiracy promoter picked to run for US Senate. This is largely due to the activism of three dedicated conspiracy theorists who latched on to Q’s posts in the early days, according to an investigation by NBC News. Down The Rabbit Hole.Kefalonia, Argostólion, Greece. Facebook had removed a small subset – five pages, six groups and 20 profiles – of the community on the social network, and as word of the bans spread, followers of Q began preparing for a broader sweep. UPDATE - 20th August 2020 After excessive censorship, hugely reduced reach of this page, and eventually being banned by Facebook for not conforming to the Official Covid Narrative, I decided to leave Facebook and its insidious social engineering agenda. Friedberg worried that it may already be too late. An Emporium of delights! Come see … Recently, Finance Magnates went down the Libra rabbit hole with David Gerard, who recently published Libra Shrugged: How Facebook Tried to Take Over the Money.The new book serves as a definitive volume on Libra’s birth, growth, and the massive change in plans that Facebook was forced to make in order to preserve the project’s life. Libra’s entrance onto the global scene was made with the “move fast and break things” bravura that Facebook has become known for. “That’s a lot of money, it turns out,” he said. Therefore, when Libra first debuted on the global stage, regulators seem to have had good reason to react with distrust. In total, the documented pages, groups and accounts count more than 3m aggregate followers and members, though there is likely significant overlap among these groups and accounts. Please open the email we sent you and click on the link to verify your account. David also pointed out that Libra could have been particularly dangerous for countries with particularly small and fragile economies. The one thing that they fear is someone being that foolish a second time,” David said. with special focus on electronic trading, banking, and investing.Copyright © 2020 "Finance Magnates Ltd." All rights reserved. “That would be quite bad, because while the US dollar is maintained by the Federal Reserve for US interests…there is some sort of public service aspect to dollarization. He slid down a rabbit hole last night on the internet. Eric Trump deleted the image relatively quickly, but not before screenshots spread across the Facebook Q-sphere. Travel Down the Rabbit Hole in Tucson’s newest escape room adventures! What's Down The Rabbit Hole ? These groups and pages play a critical role in disseminating Q’s messages to a broader audience and in recruiting more believers to the cult-like belief system, researchers say. And he’s concerned about the free speech implications of censorship by tech platforms. Instead, QAnon groups on Facebook have continued to grow at a considerable pace in the weeks following the takedown, with several adding more than 10,000 members over 30 days. Probably. “It’s an incitement to violence.”. The life of Libra is a complex tale; we asked David to start at the very beginning. For those individuals who truly believe in the QAnon narrative, the crimes of the “cabal” are so grievous as to make fighting them a moral imperative. 2.9K likes. But, he somehow missed that Libra’s plan recreated the conditions that caused the 2008 financial crisis.”, Not to mention “all the regulation stuff,” David continued. Indeed, Trump himself has repeatedly retweeted QAnon accounts on Twitter, which believers take as confirmation of their alternate reality. For example, “when he says that Facebook’s ‘Novi’ wallet will not leak your personal information to the advertising engine, I don’t doubt his sincerity.”. Social media bans are often difficult to maintain, but Reddit’s move was uncommonly effective. You may have heard of them.”, David explained that in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, money market funds were quite popular, ”the idea was that you would put your money with them, the fund managers would put them into super-safe investments, and you’d get a bit more money back out. Analyses by Gallagher, the social media researcher, and the New York Times demonstrated how QAnon groups fueled the viral spread of “Plandemic”, a 26-minute video chock full of dangerously false information about Covid-19 and vaccines. “Every chance he’s ever had, he breaks privacy and leaks information, and then apologizes for it and does it again,” he said. Down the Rabbit Hole Wine Boutique, Sayville, New York. Groups and pages that the Guardian had documented to have been promoted through Facebook’s recommendation algorithms grew 19.9%. Down The Rabbit Hole.Kefalonia, Argostólion, Greece. 734 likes. Some groups changed their names, substituting “17” for “Q” (the 17th letter of the alphabet); others shared links to back-up accounts on alternative social media platforms with looser rules. It had also long enjoyed and at times even earned a reputation as one of the danker cesspools of the social web, for years tolerating communities known as “subreddits” dedicated to sharing non-consensual sexualized images of women or advocating rape. Q’s initial commentary on the Facebook bans was concise: “Information Warfare,” Q posted on the website 8kun. Valid or not, America has slid down a rabbit hole where some lawmakers and citizens question the integrity of voting. Much of what is shared in QAnon groups on Facebook is a mix of pro-Trump political speech and pro-Trump political misinformation. “They’re talking about a group of people who are operating our government against our wishes and they’re molesting and torturing children and destroying our society,” said Joseph Uscinski, a professor of political science who studies conspiracy theories. Facebook had. David Reinert holds up a ‘Q’ while waiting to see Donald Trump at a rally on 2 August 2018 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. We are a radio show airing on the odysy1.com radio network. Do let us know and we'd be happy to check ourselves and fix if necessary. But, the story is much more complicated and interesting than that. Down The Rabbit Hole Theatre Co. is a start-up theatre company out of Ridgeway Ontario Canada. That's dangerous. We’re closely monitoring this activity and how our policies apply.”. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Two days later, in a post that included a collage of dozens of news headlines about the takedowns, Q went further, speculating that there had been a “coordinated media roll-out designed to instill ‘fear’” in believers and dissuade them from discussing QAnon on social media. “What if all of those people get into Libra?”, After all, “Facebook would like them [to be a part of Libra.] These activists worked to develop a mythology and culture around QAnon and cultivated an audience for it on mainstream social media platforms. Other politicians and government officials quickly followed suit. “The regulators looked at Facebook’s plans and said, ‘you are not doing this,’” David explained. In May, Republican voters in Oregon nominated a QAnon believer to run for the US Senate in November. More than 100 Facebook pages, profiles, groups, and Instagram accounts with at least 1,000 followers or members each dedicated to QAnon. Will Partin, a research analyst with Data & Society, and Alice Marwick, a professor of communication at the University of North Carolina, describe QAnon as a “dark participatory culture”, which is to say that it is a community that takes advantage of the infrastructure of social networking sites to bring disparate people together and foster discussion, collaboration, research and community, but directs those energies toward anti-democratic, regressive and even violent ends. Cook has begun referencing the “deep state” and stoking fear of forced vaccination and “FEMA camps”. “The 2008 crisis seriously affected the United States, which has one of the biggest and healthiest economies in the world,” he said. “Once I started liking those pages and joining those groups, Facebook just started recommending more and more and more and more, to the point where I was afraid to like them all in case Facebook would flag me as a bot,” said Friedberg. “The Federal Reserve had to come in and bail out everyone,” David said. For example, Facebook was fined by the Federal Trade Commission in 2019 for breaking its 2012 settlement with the same entity on user data privacy matters. “For what purpose?”. Nothing is as it seems at Down The Rabbit Hole Cupcakery. So, they don’t want to mess that up.”. “In some ways, the second that Trump officially acknowledges QAnon is the second it becomes a partisan political issue that Facebook may not be able to take action against,” said Friedberg. Indeed, almost as soon as Libra appeared, a massive regulatory outcry began. On 12 September 2018, citing its ban on content that “incites violence, disseminates personal information, or harasses”, the company banned 18 QAnon subreddits, the largest of which had more than 70,000 members. To enact a blanket ban akin to Reddit’s under its current rubric of rules, Facebook would likely have to designate QAnon as a “dangerous organization” – the category it uses to ban both terrorist and hate groups and any content published in support or praise of them. Partin said that he generally favored Facebook taking a “more aggressive approach to moderation”, including addressing the recommendation algorithms and trying to reduce the spread of misinformation out of dedicated conspiracy communities and into the mainstream. “If you’re tiny, regulators just nod and smile and say, ‘that’s ok, just don’t break any laws.’ And then they break the laws, and the Securities and Exchange Commission fines them.”, However, “when you’re Facebook,” it is another story: “Facebook has two billion users,” David said. “I really do not think that QAnon as we know it today would have been able to happen without the affordances of Facebook.”. Music event in Ewijk, Netherlands by MOJO and Down The Rabbit Hole on Friday, July 2 2021 with 11K people interested and 4.8K people going. It appears that anti-vaccine propagandists are also taking notice, and attempting to capitalize. An Emporium of delights! Facebook has been reluctant to appear in any way biased against Republicans, and if (or when) QAnon reaches Congress, it will be even more politically difficult for Facebook to take a stand. 119 were here. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with David Gerard, visit us on Soundcloud or Youtube. They were considered as high-quality investments; people treated them like super-secure banks.”, However, “it turns out that they were not secure banks.”, “There was so much demand for some of the ‘super-secure’ investments that the funds were pouring money into, that people tried creating new super-safe investments. “If Facebook flipped a switch and every Q post disappeared tomorrow, that probably would be harmful for QAnon,” he said. Thank you. “Everything about our research suggests that these people are not irrational; they’re hyper-literate, even if they’ve come to beliefs that are empirically inaccurate ,” Partin said. In addition to these “Bitcoin ideas,” David explained that the creators of Libra “threw in a few ICO ideas,” such as “let’s have a token that you can buy to be an investor in Libra” and “let’s swing around trillions of dollars of reserve currency.”, In other words, “all of the things that you would see written on ICO papers in 2017.”, “The thing was, though, this is Facebook, and Facebook is huge,” David said. Down the Rabbit Hole Outlandish! The Singapore dollar is kept stable by two large sovereign wealth funds that add up to about $600 million or $700 million…that’s the whole reserve.”. Perhaps one of the biggest changes in plans in the business world was the decisive shift in the course of Facebook’s Libra project, which was announced in the middle of 2019. To Friedberg, the window for Facebook to act on QAnon may have already passed. Reddit was significantly easier to use for the kind of crowd-sourced research and interpretation that forms the core of participation in QAnon, and the site was host to a large pool of potential recruits, such as the 1.2m members of the subreddit r/conspiracy. Thursday 6 August at 15 pm we'll let you know who the winners are. This points to another of the regulators’ fears about what Libra could have done: the “Libra-ization” of everything. “Sometimes it happens inadvertently; sometimes it happens deliberately.”, For example, when Ecuador dollarized in the early 2000s, “they had hyperinflation, and everyone started using dollars instead of their local currency, and the government went, ‘fine, we’ll just make the dollar the currency.’ So, the Ecuadorian currency is now the US dollar.”, “The thing is that Libra-ization could happen the same way,” David said. Reddit had been central to the development of the QAnon movement, which began in October 2017 with the emergence of “Q” on 4chan, the anarchic image board that has served as a launching pad for memes and internet culture but also racist extremism and harassment campaigns. “Facebook should have taken action on this a long, long time ago, and the longer that they wait, the more deeply entrenched in mainstream politics this becomes,” he said. Anonymous internet posters claiming to be high-level government officials are not entirely uncommon; in recent years, other so-called “anons” have emerged with claims that they were revealing secrets from inside the FBI or CIA. Would it be better if they took it down? “[…] You can’t expect governments to really welcome that.”, Finance Magnates is a global B2B provider of multi-asset trading news, research and events Q, whose cryptic messages and predictions claimed to be based on a high-level government security clearance, quickly decamped from 4chan to the even more extreme 8chan, where believers could read Q’s latest “crumbs” directly from the source. Down The Rabbit Hole is a friendly, quirky environment located near bushey train station and bushey arches! And given the current state of the anonymous figure, ‘ you are not doing this, ’ ” said... Demagoguery is a movement it has certainly caused harm and could be considered.... Reddit in less than a year activity and how our policies apply..! Costs of the anonymous figure, ‘ you are not doing this ’... The customer service is beyond amazing ask and her prices are super fair i always get reply. 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