The Conspiracy Consortium: Examining Discussions of COVID-19 Among Right-Wing Extremist Telegram Channels

The Conspiracy Consortium: examining discussions of COVID-19 among right-wing extremist Telegram channels

Authors: Ciarán O’Connor  
Published: 17 December 2021

COVID-19 has given rise to the development of a hybrid threat landscape, merging misinformation, conspiracy theories, hate, harassment and extremism. Drawing on data analysed from over 200 Telegram channels between January 2020 – June 2021, this report provides fresh insight into the role of right-wing extremist communities within this nexus, in particular their role amplifying and spreading COVID-19 conspiracy content and misinformation on Telegram.

The report features a detailed case study that explores the evolution of an influential Telegram channel that operates as a COVID-19 conspiracy hub and illustrates how extremist actors are converging on COVID-19 conspiracy content.

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The Murky Origin Story of #IstandwithRussia

This briefing note is intended to understand the origins of the #IstandwithRussia campaign, the accounts behind it, and the parallels and linkages it has to pro-Kremlin media and narratives on social media platforms.