A group calling itself “America’s Frontline Doctors” spread false information about COVID-19 with the help of Facebook. https://t.co/bNWqafucKj
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 28, 2020
Read about the misleading Coronavirus video that went viral and was subsequently removed from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube here.
Also check out: An Open Letter to Anti-Mask Wearers from a Paediatric Nurse. And: Make Masks Sexy Again.
You might have seen the video with these doctors in front of the Supreme Court popping up on your feed.
It was one of the most-viewed clips on social media this Monday. Over 14 million views on the first day and more than 600,000 shares, and Trump has been one of these people helping this video become a viral hit.
They offer a different narrative about Covid-19 and one might wonder why they do that. Who is behind “America’s Frontline Doctors?”
Their message is that there is no reason to worry about Coronavirus anymore. In their opinion, hydroxychloroquine is the cure, masks don’t help, and everyone should just go back to normal. Nothing to worry about anymore.
Hearing that from a group of doctors standing in front of a federal building is troubling. What is their intention? In order to get an understanding of where they are coming from, we might want to take a look at who is financing them and what kind of statements they’ve made in the past.
One of these doctors is Stella Immanuel. Prior to this video, she was known for statements about Alien DNA in medical treatments and the dangers of having sex with demons in our dreams. One might wonder how she got selected onto the “America’s frontline doctors” team.
Looking at the people behind this video gives an idea of what happened. It was first published by Breitbart News. Describing them as leaning to the conservative side would be an understatement; they have been openly supporting Donald Trump since day one of his campaign and founder Steve Bannon is a private friend of the President.
First of all, everyone is entitled to believe what they want to believe. Freedom of speech applies to everyone, but do we have to accept the spread of false information that supports a political agenda?
The big tech companies said no to that: YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter kept deleting the video off of their feeds. As of now, the video has been shared so many times that it will be impossible to control the spread of it.
I am not a fan of censorship, so I would like to offer a different approach.
When we see our friends sharing this video or sending it to us in a private message, we can still be kind to them. Maybe they haven’t even watched the whole video, there could be some hope to bring our friends back into reality.
Show them what Stella Immanuel stands for. Ask them why (and where) these doctors got special outfits with the “America’s frontline doctors” logo stitched onto them? Talk with them about other countries that managed the crisis more successfully and mention that these countries all use masks and tracking of infected people.
Especially if you are dealing with a “woke” friend, you might want to ask them if they are Breitbart News supporters now. If they mix this misinformation with any QAnon narrative, we could ask them how they felt about Trump’s well wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell last week.
Besides our private conversations, we have to acknowledge one thing: the far-right knows how to use the internet. We have seen how they made “Plandemic” one of the most-watched videos on the internet in 2020, we witnessed their attempt to use Candace Owens as an argument against “Black Lives Matter” and we all know the man in the White House that has 84 million followers on Twitter.
If a video like “America’s frontline doctors” gets shared 600,000 times on one day, one might ask about the possibility of bots being involved in this. We have to admit that the left is also using the internet quite well. On Sunday #dictatortrump was trending on Twitter USA after some left-wing activists pushed it for hours.
The only group that apparently hasn’t understood how marketing works in 2020 is the Biden campaign. Moderate Democrats seem to sit out on using social media to make their case. It is no surprise that we see online warfare between the far-right and the far-left—it is because the center is a bit “sleepy” these days.
The Lincoln Project is an exception from that observation, but it says a lot that the most popular platform for moderates supporting Biden is run by Republicans.
Everything seems to be upside-down, rebellious “freethinkers” are supporting the narrative of a failing government, while progressives gather behind young members of Congress who seem to be the only existing voice amongst liberals.
There will be many more videos coming up until the election that will reach millions of people. We can’t stop that, but we can get our facts together and protect ourselves from this type of misinformation.
Why not get your own Twitter account and share content that you would like others to see?
When confronted with propaganda by far-right sources, we should always have a checklist at hand to identify this content before it goes viral.
>> Who is speaking?
>> Who paid for that?
>> Who published it?
>> Who is sharing it?
>> What is the bigger picture?
And as a bonus question, if you want to dive deeper into it:
>> What psychological triggers are they using to make their case?
We should not need to censor any videos, it would be much better if we could be informed enough to debunk these pieces of propaganda before they put people in danger.
That is all we can do for now. Let’s do it!