It’s been a challenging beginning of the year, to say the least. Between an economy plummeting, a plague not being taken seriously, and the country constantly on the precipice of another war, it’s hard not to think ‘oh yeah, also we’ve got an election this year.’ Since our arrival in the Darkest Timeline, one of our chief concerns was 2020.
On April 19, 25,000 purported e-mails and passwords belonging to the WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institute of Health, and others were posted to pastebin. The SITE intelligence group, an organization that monitors online extremism, believes the hacker to have been an American conspiracy theorist attempting to prove the Coronavirus pandemic is one massive conspiracy.
Now, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. It doesn’t matter if the information is old. But people are scared, confused and leaderless. People are regularly attacking sensible public health measures because it’s an inconvenience. I am of the mind that many are primed for another disinformation campaign, if one isn’t already underway foreign or otherwise.
As a country, we’ve had four years to prep for this election, because the one thing we all knew was coming down the pipe, was that Trump would pull the same shit he did in 2016.: disinformation, racism, basically whatever sticks to the wall. It was the job of our social media and mainstream media to crack down on this and sadly, they have proven to be wholly unfit for the task.
And with the horrifically insufficient response to the Coronavirus pandemic, you’d be remiss to think that it was all over for Trump. But what worries me is the way Trump’s base is treating the coronavirus. Perhaps because Facebook is still not doing enough to tamp down on misinformation, or perhaps because of the lack of a coherent rational response from the US government, conspiracy theories are running rampant.
I say all this, because in 2016 we had Wikileaks leak the DNC e-mails, which were then disseminated by the right wing goblins like Roger Stone in sophisticated election influence campaigns. It didn’t matter what the e-mails were about, it’s that there were e-mails at all. A hint of impropriety is all it takes. We got Crooked Hillary, Seth Rich, Pizzagate, and QAnon out of that.
I will not put it out of the realm of possibility that future hacks directed toward Coronavirus misinformation could bear even stranger fruit.