911 dispatchers slammed with calls about QAnon-backed false claims about wildfires

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/11/tech/qanon-oregon-fire-conspiracy-theory/

Authorities in Oregon are pleading with the public to only trust and share information verified by official sources about the unprecedented wildfires sweeping the state. The pleas come as law enforcement agencies described 911 dispatchers being overrun with calls about a false online rumor that “Antifa” members had been arrested for setting the fires — a claim promoted by the anonymous account behind the QAnon conspiracy theories.

The incident highlights how online conspiracy theories, a sustained right-wing campaign to create increased fear of anti-fascist groups, and amplification of false claims by QAnon followers, have real consequences.
“Rumors spread just like wildfire,” the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warned in a Facebook post Thursday, adding that staff had been “overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires” in the area.
That specific claim had been amplified by “Q” — the anonymous person or people behind QAnon — only 12 hours earlier.
Early Thursday morning, “Q” posted a link to a tweet from Paul Joseph Romero Jr., a former US Senate candidate who lost his Republican primary in May, that falsely claimed the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office had six Antifa “arsonists” in custody.
An anonymous post to an obscure online site wouldn’t normally merit much attention, but QAnon followers are fervent and persistent, and the FBI has labeled them a potential domestic terrorist threat.
“We are inundated with questions about things that are FAKE stories. One example is a story circulating that varies about what group is involved as to setting fires and arrests being made,” they wrote, adding, “THIS IS NOT TRUE!”
And police in the city of Medford said screenshots of what purported to be a Facebook post from the police department’s account were fake. In the screenshot, a post showed a man’s picture and claimed five people were arrested in connection with arson.
“We did not arrest this person for arson, nor anyone affiliated with Antifa or ‘Proud Boys’ as we’ve heard throughout the day. Also, no confirmed gatherings of Antifa which has also been reported,” police wrote.
There is more at the link above.   Do we see how these conspiracy their fervent followers are doing real harm to the country?   For those in these states our hearts go out to you.   Hugs

7 thoughts on “911 dispatchers slammed with calls about QAnon-backed false claims about wildfires

  1. Nan September 11, 2020 / 14:50

    These radicals jump at even the slightest opening!

    Investigators are looking into the possible connection between the blaze and the death of an unidentified individual, whose body was found near the origin of the fire.

    Unsubstantiated reports have been surfacing on social media that the fires have been started by far-left group Antifa and far-right group Proud Boys

    See this article for IMAGES of the destruction.

    While the people who LIVED in these homes are now trying to put their lives back together, these IDIOTS are spreading POLITICAL rumors.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scottie September 12, 2020 / 05:53

      Hello Nan. WOW! It is just mind blowing the size of the destruction and the on going nature of it. I posted a couple articles on it this morning. I am listening to Rachel Maddow describe it. If I can find it on YouTube I will post it. She is showing the pictures. She just said more than a million acres have burned, more area than Rhode Island. Be safe. Hugs

      Like

  2. Dennis Cole September 11, 2020 / 15:55

    Scottie – they must have known those were Antifa members by the uniforms they were wearing, and the insignias, etc. It’s the only way I can tell them apart from ordinary citizens…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scottie September 12, 2020 / 06:06

      Hello Dennis. 😀😃😄😋😎 I love your humor. Most people have no idea what Antifa is and what they are trying to do. But they don’t want to know either. They want to believe it is an organized group of trained paramilitary troops trained by the communists supported by the liberal left. That is tRump’s view. They don’t want the truth, they want their fantasy. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Keith September 11, 2020 / 17:57

    QAnon makes the Russian and Chinese job of election interference so easy. It is truly like shooting fish in a barrel. I am sure Putin celebrates how easy it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scottie September 12, 2020 / 06:12

      Hello Keith. According to what I read Russia has been a big pusher of the Qanon stories. Their Facebook / twitter bots fan the flames of Q as much as possible. Hugs

      Like

      • Keith September 12, 2020 / 14:11

        Scottie, it is like shooting fish in a barrel. Just feed the conspiracy nuts and let them wreak havoc. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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