According to Nafeez Ahmed of the Byline Time right wing political figures are playing a major roles in driving confusion and social unrest around responses to the COVID-19 pandemic – in South Africa amongst other countries. In his article, titled Cambridge Analytica Psychologist Advising Global COVID-19 Disinformation Network. Ahmed exposes links between far-right political groups and the super wealthy, and Facebook misinformation campaigns that are exacerbating the pandemic.
The same people that pushed for Brexit, that pushed for Trump, that pushed the “White Monopoly Capital” myth in South Africa, are now pushing anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown misinformation. This can cost lives – in fact the article suggests that these misinformation campaigns may have directly led to the second COVID-19 wave that cost so many lives in December and January in South Africa.
Discernment is necessary when dealing with the uncertainty of the pandemic. Conspiracies play on our emotions – and we are ALL taking strain with the responses to the pandemic.
I discussed this last year in How to recognise fake news. In the absence of data / evidence we need to be cautious about the motivations of those posting on Facebook and elsewhere.