Campaigning for facts

Coronapolitics from the Reichstag to the Capitol – who’s behind it?


The movements that have arisen to counter Covid-19 safety mandates have largely taken the shape of small to medium-sized groups instead of the conventional form of far-right populism. These are people who go farther than being discontent in lockdown, they express skepticism over the actual severity of the virus and the safety of the vaccine. They practice “querdenken”, a German idea that means diagonalism. These groups do not tie themselves to a specific party or politician, although their views usually correspond with the far-right, and instead call for individual liberties. They believe all power is part of a conspiracy and controlled by the ‘elite.’ This group is largely made up of the middle-class, many are self-employed and worked at home during quarantine.

New research by Avaaz, a global human rights group, found that the narrative of voter fraud that spread across the United States after Trump lost the election was disseminated by a small group of right-wing social media users with a large base of followers. The word ‘superspreader’ has been used throughout 2020 to explain the phenomenon of one person with Covid-19 attending a large gathering and infecting thousands. However, it can also be applied to far-right influencers; they are able to spread far-right conspiracies and propaganda to thousands by simply posting on Facebook. This issue stretches beyond the baseless election fraud claims to misinformation about Covid-19, 5G and climate change. This is evidenced by a case study done by the Center For Countering Hate, which found that just a dozen accounts are behind the spread of fake news related to Covid-19 vaccines.

In Switzerland, people have largely assumed that the war against 5G is over as 90% of Switzerland now has access to 5G and the public 5G protests have disappeared. In reality, the 5G war has transitioned into a guerilla war. They are working at a local level to stop operators from being able to do their jobs. These anti-5Gers are in the group described above, they are middle-class, working in small groups, and are highly skeptical of the Swiss government. They are conspiracy theorists who are getting their 5G misinformation from far-right superspreaders. According to these local organizers, the battle is far from over.

Read more about diagonalism, superspreaders, and the 5G war.

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