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michaelcahill
rumours and innuendos
rumours of innuendos

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Conspiracy Theories

   Thread Started October 27 at 12:46AM

Instead of a link which no one will read, here is the article I just read. I've read several and ENDLESS comments like the ones contained in this article. These are comments directed at true victims. I can't think of any behavior more ugly. Pizzagate, Sandyhook, the Twin Towers, the list is endless of real victims harassed by these people and their theories.

Oh well, here it is, read it or no ...


'I hope someone truly shoots you': online conspiracy theorists harass Vegas victims
The Guardian
Sam Levin in San Francisco
?You are a lying piece of s**t and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head," a commenter wrote to Matejka on Facebook, one week after a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. ?Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!" said another. A Facebook meme quickly spread with a photo of him after the shooting, captioned: ?I?m a lying ****!"
The 30-year-old victim ? who narrowly escaped death in the worst mass shooting in modern US history ? has faced a torrent of online abuse and harassment, forcing him to shut down his social media accounts and disappear from the internet. The bullying, taunting and graphic threats have also spread to his family and friends.

?There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing they?ll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and are being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy," said Taylor Matejka, Braden?s brother, who shared with the Guardian dozens of screenshots of the abuse. ?It?s madness. I can?t imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?"
Conspiracy theorists ? some of whom claim that the government staged the shooting on 1 October or that the tragedy was a hoax ? have targeted survivors and victims? loved ones, spamming every social media platform with misinformation and abuse. On Facebook and YouTube in particular, users have published viral posts and videos calling people like Braden ?crisis actors", alleging they were hired to pose as victims.
While fringe conspiracies have often emerged after national tragedies and major historical events, social media has dramatically expanded the scope and scale of the problem, making it easy for false claims to reach massive audiences and giving trolls easy access to targets online.
?It makes you angry," said Rob McIntosh, 52, who was shot in the chest and arm in Las Vegas and has since been accused of being an actor who faked his injuries. ?You?ve already been through something that?s traumatic and terrible, and you have someone who is attacking your honesty. You don?t even have the opportunity to respond."
?I hope someone comes after you?
Braden Matejka, from British Columbia, Canada, traveled to Las Vegas with his girlfriend, Amanda Homulos, to celebrate his 30th birthday at a country music festival. Police say the gunman, Stephen Paddock, whose motives remain unknown, fired into the crowd of people at the outdoor concert from a 32nd-floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
As the couple was fleeing, Braden was knocked down by a bullet in the back of his head, landing on his face. He was covered in blood, but remained responsive, and he and his girlfriend, who was not hit, quickly made it inside the car of another concertgoer, who drove them to a hospital.
The wound to his skull was not life-threatening, and days later, the couple gave an emotional interview on camera to the Associated Press about their escape.
?I?m just so grateful that we?re still here, and I can?t even express how sorry I am for people that didn?t make it out," Homulos said through sobs. In another video interview, published by the Guardian and other news organizations, Braden explained that the bullet was very close to killing him: ?If it was an inch over ? it would?ve been in my brain, and I would?ve been gone."

His brother Taylor and others began promoting on Facebook a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Braden, who was suffering from bleeding and swelling in his brain and blurred vision. The heavy-duty mechanic and welder also had to take time off work.
Friends and relatives posted messages of love and support in response. But soon, the nasty messages began to arrive, with strangers sending comments at such a rapid rate that it was hard for the family to keep up.
?Obviously a TERRIBLE CRISIS ACTOR," wrote a Facebook user named Samantha. ?HE?S SCAMMING THE PUBLIC ? This was a government set up."
?YOUR A LIAR AND THEFT PIECE OF CRAP [sic]," wrote Karen.
?You?ll pay on the other side," said a user named Mach. Others called Braden a ?LYING BASTARD", ?scumbag govt actor" and ?f***in FRAUD", while one user named Josh wrote: ?I hope someone comes after you and literally beats the living f*** outa you."
Taylor, 28, recalled: ?I was just blown away by what these people were saying."
One woman posted 26 consecutive messages under Taylor?s request for donations for his brother, saying she had been a nurse for more than two decades and that she was certain Braden was a liar and con artist.
Chased off the internet
Braden tried to defend himself, but eventually gave up and deleted his Facebook and Instagram accounts. Some said the decision was further evidence that he was part of a government-organized hoax ? a staged fake shooting meant to help push gun control policies.
Taylor said he tried to respond to the conspiracy theorists, but nothing seemed to work: ?I?d be happy to talk to these people, but it seems there?s no reasoning. A really sad part of this is that a lot of these people think they?re fighting the good fight and exposing truth."
By some measures, YouTube seems to be making the problem worse. This week, a search for ?Braden Matejka" on the Google-owned video platform suggested a video titled ?How To Spot Crisis Actors & Fakest News Ever" as one of the top results. That?s despite the fact that YouTube said it was immediately changing its algorithm to better promote legitimate sources after Las Vegas victims criticized the site for spreading conspiracies.
Mike Cronk, another Las Vegas survivor, was also widely targeted by conspiracy theorists after he did interviews with ABC and NBC news stations. So many users on YouTube have published videos calling him a fake that a search for his name autocompleted to ?Mike Cronk crisis actor" and ?Mike Cronk fake". The top three search results for ?Mike Cronk Las Vegas" were conspiracy videos, promoted higher than the ABC News segment.
McIntosh, Cronk?s friend who is slowly recovering from his bullet wounds, said the websites bore some responsibility. ?If they?re putting it online and promoting it, they should be accountable for that. They are providing a service ? they need to police it."
Taylor said he recognized that it was difficult for social media sites to monitor and censor content, but that at the least, they should should prioritize verified news sources above false content: ?People should be able to discover the truth first."
After the Guardian inquired about specific videos attacking survivors, YouTubetook down one of them targeting Braden Matejka for violating its ?harassment and bullying" policy, but did not remove the others.
?We work to quickly remove videos violating our policies when they are flagged," a spokesperson said in an email.
Taylor Matejka said he tried to laugh off the conspiracy theorists targeting his family, but given the killings in Las Vegas, it was hard to ignore the death threats.
?If you want to spend your whole life searching conspiracies on the internet, you?re free to do that," he said, ?but it shouldn?t come at a cost to the victim?s wellbeing."


CD Richards

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RE: Conspiracy Theories

Reply on October 27, 2017 01:24 AM << Modifed October 27 at 1:26AM >>
That is truly disgusting and deeply disheartening, Michael. I don't know what is wrong with the world - though you can bet your bottom dollar these nutjobs have a good explanation.

It used to be if people wanted a hobby they got into astronomy, or music, or became history buffs. Just the past few years, the number one way of alleviating boredom appears to be to see how insane you can possibly become. And what's the bet all these people want to be packing - the ones with their filthy trolling and vile mouths. Yeah, great plan.

It seems we are devolving - into a species that is totally lacking in empathy towards anyone or anything.


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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 27, 2017 03:35 AM
Humans have always been as off on issues as they are today.
It's just that we're made more privy to that fact today--thanks largely to the internet's instant, infinite information stream.

I, personally, will never rest until the unicorns on the moon are finally freed--especially Pegasus.
(American, British, and Russian defense secretaries know exactly what I'm talking about) ....

CD Richards

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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 27, 2017 03:53 AM
Yes and no. I certainly agree we are more aware of the loonies out there since the advent of the internet. But the reason for that is, I think, the same reason I believe there is an actual increase in the number of people with totally bizarre, nonsensical views.

In decades gone by, if you wanted to publish information for others to digest, it wasn't such a cheap or easy exercise. People who were just off the planet, by and large didn't have the resources required to do so. Similarly, if you wanted to know something you actually often had to go to a good deal of trouble to find it out.

Nowadays, all you need to have an instant audience of millions is a Twitter account, a foul mouth, and a tenuous grip on reality. It helps if you're the President of the US, but that's not mandatory.

So there are a huge number more people than ever before soaking up drivel which once might have been from a one-off source. But these days there will inevitably be a plethora of gullible people with no idea of how to properly evaluate claims who will just swallow stuff like Mikey referred to hook, line and sinker. It becomes self-perpetuating.

Also, I'll just point out there is a different between being a nutter, and being someone who is a complete waste of good oxygen. The people making the comments the previous post refers to are such people.




gloria ...
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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 27, 2017 09:02 PM
Excellent point about the immediate endorphin high the Internet gives. That is an accurate read and there is also the fact that foreign nationals (such as Russia) love sowing discord just as much as conspiracy theorists love spreading fake stories. I think it must be some remnant of tribalism. ;-)

Mike I thought this point in your article the centrepiece: The really sad part of this is that a lot of these people think they're fighting the good fight and exposing the truth.

So sad because they are doing the opposite of exposing the truth and are in fact causing much, much additional pain by abusing innocent families already in crisis. That trauma is multiplied by the mindless attacks of violent Internet mobs. I won't call these people evil because they don't know what they do, but the act IS evil in the extreme. In my opinion it's time for ALL media posted on Internet platforms to be governed by the same stringent legal restrictions as mainstream media.

People also need to be held accountable for their online actions because it does have real life consequences. This is assault and people who stalk and abuse others should face criminal charges and huge fines just the same as they would if they assaulted people on the street this way.

This is a sad indictment of our humanity. And all because people want to be A somebody. People would do well to show their civic responsibility by falling back and letting the authorities do their job. These meddlers should think of it like a hypothetical crime scene: if every Tom, Dick and Harry runs all over taking items, moving things around and stomping footprints all over the scene gathering evidence gets pretty damn difficult.

Thanks for sharing the article.



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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 28, 2017 08:05 PM
Speaking of conspiracy theories, Trump just tweeted this:

JFK Files are released, long ahead of schedule!

Uh, that's what you call wrong. The documents were legally required by a law passed twenty five years ago to be made public by October 26, 2017. There have been reports that Trump would block the release of some of the files at the request of his national-security advisers. Read to mean the White House neglected to do their job, so ALL the files were not ready for release on the date required by law. Twenty-five years doesn't give a person a lot of time to meet a deadline.

Does this mean Trump has decided to release the files he originally held back on the Thursday release? Anyone know?


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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 29, 2017 03:11 AM
I agree, Craig. There were always nutters, but now they've got a bigger platform, and it's catching. It's much easier to be an 'expert' now that you don't have to wade through piles of paper. All you need is a five-minute video, it seems, to be an expert.

It's really easy to start conspiracy theories now, and people who blog this sort of thing can make good money out of it. I've thought of some good ones, myself. I could make a fortune out of the stuff I could make up, far more than I'll ever make writing novels. Conspiracy theories are big business.


michaelcahill
rumours and innuendos
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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 29, 2017 03:35 AM
Trump is lying as usual. He's delayed the release and then claimed to have sped it up. He's taking credit for the release as though it's HIS decision. What a guy. He's very smart ya know, he said so. He's real smart about things like that. He killed Kennedy with a sling shot and got Oswald to cop to it. Fake news is NOT a new thing....


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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 29, 2017 05:23 AM
Actually, I think Hitler did it. You do know he didn't die in the bunker. I heard he teamed up with Lord Lucan, and together they went on to mastermind some of the biggest terrorist organisations, with the help of the Nazi war criminals who escaped justice. They've been conducting experiments on such celebrities as Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison after convincing the gullible public these notaries were dead.

I've heard that, although JFK DID, in fact, die on that fateful day, his brain is stored in a jar in the White House, and is linked to a central computer, from which it runs the computer-generated virtual reality we all exist in.

I've heard that Donald Trump is, in fact, a prototype Robot with artificial intelligence, and his cock-ups are due to a glitch in his software. Reports are that this test model is failing in many areas, but scientists are hoping to sort out the problems in time to place a new candidate forward for the next election.

Hey, this is fun ....



michaelcahill
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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 29, 2017 07:06 AM
"and his cock-ups" HAHAHA ... you had me going for a brief second there.

The copy and paste DOES work, it just doesn't shade what you are copying.

Trump is a reflection of the United States and if the United States doesn't like it ... better make some big changes. He and the current situation is the status quo.

Jeesh. I wish that was a conspiracy theory...


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RE: Conspiracy Theories
Reply on October 29, 2017 02:17 PM
The copy and paste DOES work, it just doesn't shade what you are copying.

Trump is a reflection of the United States and if the United States doesn't like it ... better make some big changes. He and the current situation is the status quo.

Jeesh. I wish that was a conspiracy theory...

Hey, Mikey, you are right. It does work. Whose stupid idea was that? And I wish I'd read your solution before I went and made a fool of myself in the General Forum!.

Which of these three options do you folks think makes the most sense for the proliferation of conspiracy theories?

1. People seek to put the blame for their own unsatisfactory lives on others by creating or latching onto the idea of some mysterious 'them' who are secretly controlling everything.

2. They are mischief-makers. A kind of souped-up version of the kid who puts gum in your hair at school.

3. They are mentally unbalanced or so lacking in basic intelligence that they will believe anything.

4. They are actually alien moles, planted here to subvert world government by creating an environment in which the stupidest possible political candidate gets to win the election.

5. I know, I know, I said THREE options, but if Douglas Adams, while hitchhiking around the universe can contrive a trilogy in five parts.....

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