Dec 11, 2020
By Gavin Day
Canada is not immune to misinformation campaigns like Q-Anon.
This according to a fellow with the Global Network on Extremism and Technology and professor at the Queen’s University school of religion.
Amarnath Amarasingam says the reach of the once-fringe Q-Anon movement has grown as its followers’ discredited beliefs mix with misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q-Anon conspiracies began in 2017 and have become popular among supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump. Signs carrying slogans popular with the group have been regular sightings at Trump campaign rallies since the group started gaining traction.
Amarasingam says Q-Anon-related signs have been popping up at anti-mask and anti-vaccination protests in different cities.
“People are using what’s happening to them from this pandemic and the economic and social response to reframe it all as an anti-government conspiracy,” Amarasingam told The Canadian Press.
“That is dangerous going forward because it will impact how people vote, whether they get vaccinated and effects on public health.”