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The Real News Network

Misinformation peddlers have shifted gears from the election to coronavirus vaccines.

1 min read

Sidney Powell, a lawyer who was part of President Trump’s legal team, spread a conspiracy theory last month about election fraud. For days, she claimed that she would “release the Kraken” by showing voluminous evidence that Mr. Trump had won the election by a landslide.

But after her assertions were widely derided and failed to gain legal traction, Ms. Powell started talking about a new topic. On Dec. 4, she posted a link on Twitter with misinformation that said that the population would be split into the vaccinated and the unvaccinated and that “big government” could surveil those who were unvaccinated.

“NO WAY #America,” Ms. Powell wrote in the tweet, which collected 22,600 shares and 51,000 likes. “This is more authoritarian communist control imported straight from #China.”

Ms. Powell’s changing tune was part of a broader shift in online misinformation. As Mr. Trump’s challenges to the election’s results have been knocked down and the Electoral College has affirmed President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win, voter fraud misinformation has subsided. Instead, peddlers of online falsehoods are ramping up lies about the Covid-19 vaccines.

Researchers said the spread had been amplified by far-right websites and a robust network of anti-vaccination activists like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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