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Tinfoil Digest: Epic Takedown Edition

Tinfoil Digest: Epic Takedown Edition

Our writers' recommendations this week include a mind-bending fan video about a top Q hunter, a look at the psychology behind conspiracy theories, and some light relief in the form of a podcast about Princess Diana.


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Nick, Contributing Editor - In an extraordinary demonstration of Poe’s Law coming to life, a YouTube user by the name of Official Qpatriot posted an “epic takedown” of QAnon Anonymous podcast host Travis View. Is it obvious over-the-top parody? Definitely. Does that mean some internet users aren’t falling for this brilliant takedown? Hell no. Above all, it’s an incredible piece of work and worthy of much praise. You can see the takedown in all its glory here and follow the best thing to happen to Q since the Podesta emails on Twitter here.


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Kristina, Disinformation Researcher - A critical factor in any conspiracy theory is its followers. To combat the spread of conspiracy theories, we need to understand the psychology type of people who believe in them. Benedict Carey from The New York Times has done an excellent job of bringing together the latest research on the psychology of people who live in a world of conspiracies.

Read the article here, and follow the researchers who worked on this topic: Shauna Bowes and Gordon Pennycook.


Joe, Senior Researcher - The legitimacy of mail-in votes is rapidly becoming a defining talking-point of the Trump campaign in the run up to November 3rd. In fact, with both Trump and Pence’s reluctance to commit to a peaceful transition of power at the end of each debate has given the issue an alarming significance in what it could mean in the aftermath of polling day. A paper by the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University reveals that Trump has successfully seeded this narrative predominantly through the traditional press rather than through social media - serving as a timely reminder that disinformation can come from trusted sources as much as trending hashtags or viral videos.

Read the paper here and follow the Berkman Klein Center here.


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Ishaana, Researcher - We’ve seen how ‘fake news’ arising from the pandemic has had serious real-world repercussions. Some governments across the world have implemented emergency measures to control the spread of such false information during the infodemic by way of arrests and censorship. Law makers often ignore some of the wider reaching effects of such measures where genuine information and criticisms can often go unheard.

In this superb read from Jenna Hand, is an analysis of Government overreach in the infodemic. Follow First Draft here.


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Edie, Contributing Editor - Logically favourites Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes have started a new series within their podcast debunking the misconceptions around media figures and celebrities: this one's on the life, death and press coverage of Princess Diana. There are outfits, there are polo matches, there are crumbling stately homes and there's an overabundance of stifling British aristocracy hell. It's so good. Listen here.


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Tinfoil Digest: Teen In A Suit Edition

Our writers’ recommendations this week include a meme about disappearing Karens, a long read about QAnon, and in preparation for the Democratic National Convention, two teenagers in suits.