Warning over antisemitism associated with anti-vaxx QAnon conspiracies

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Warning over antisemitism associated with anti-vaxx QAnon conspiracies

Hope Not Hate outlines up to six percent of Brits believe in QAnon conspiracies which 'build on old prejudices alleging the existence of a secret Jewish government'

A woman holds a QAnon sign at a protest in Washington, DC
A woman holds a QAnon sign at a protest in Washington, DC

Holocaust educators have weighed in on the growing argument over the proliferation of conspiracies online, as a report to the UK government showed a clear link between anti-vaxxers and antisemites.

It comes as UK-based anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate reported that up to six percent of Brits believe in the QAnon conspiracy, which holds that Donald Trump is fighting an underground war against a secret cabal that controls the world, whose members kidnap, torture and cannibalise children.

That poll coincides with a report submitted by Lord Mann after researchers analysed the biggest anti-vaccination networks on Facebook and Twitter and found antisemitic content in almost 80 percent of them.

“We know only too well that when unsubstantiated and dangerous conspiracies are allowed to spread, antisemitism follows soon after,” said Karen Pollock, chief executive of Holocaust Educational Trust.

“Social media platforms have a duty to remove conspiracy theories, antisemitism and hate from their platforms.”

The conspiracies “build on old prejudices alleging the existence of a secret Jewish government, sometimes in league with Satanic forces, exercising a hidden hand behind world events,” said Hope Not Hate researchers.

A President Trump supporter wears a giant Q at a political rally

QAnon-aligned Facebook groups were “riddled with theories of Jewish control, including references to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” they said, referring to a notorious antisemitic forgery outlining a Jewish plan for world control, including infiltrating the media and political parties to brainwash and enslave populations.

These themes were “prevalent among QAnon followers,” the organisation said. “A popular subsidiary theme alleges that ‘adrenochrome’ is at the heart of the conspiracy, a mythical drug allegedly harvested by the cabal from the blood of children, echoing the ancient antisemitic blood libel myth.”

A familiar target of the conspiracists is Hungarian-born Jewish philanthropist George Soros, who features in a “substantial number of these conspiracy theories”, said Mann. His accusers play on “antisemitic tropes that Jews work behind the scenes to control counties and orchestrate global crises for their benefit”, he added.

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