Police and local authorities on the West Coast are battling several fierce fires. They are fighting a wave of misinformation from false rumors spread across neighborhood Facebook groups and on far-flung websites that Antifa activists were setting blazes.
At least six groups have issued warnings about false rumors, including some arguments from the public to stop sharing misinformation.
“The rumors spread like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatcher and professional staff are moving forward with a request for information and inquiries on the UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members arrested for setting fire to Douglas County, Oregon Has been done, ”the Douglas County Sheriff Office wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
False claims have also become a fodder for the now online salable QAnon community, which began promoting various false reports in the first week.
In Oregon, sheriffs in Jackson and Mason counties posted similar warnings, begging the locals to stop spreading lewd claims.
A firefighting association in Washington state called Facebook “an absolute pretense of misinformation right now”, in a post that sought to extinguish more rumors about the fire’s origins.
Antifa has emerged in recent months as the center of far-fetched distraction, based on allegations made free of evidence by President Donald Trump and other government officials, who oppose anti-fascist organizations, which form anti-fascist organizations , Which lags behind everything from violence during protests. Plots to invade suburban areas.
Medford police debated the antifast rumor with a separate, less viral false claim, claiming that the fire was the result of arson by the Proud Boys, a far-flung group whose members describe themselves as “Western Chaunists” and an adversary mainstay There are Black Lives Matter protests.
The fire in Ashland, Oregon, has been reported as arson, but the Oregonians informed Ashland Police Chief Tige O’Mera as saying, “One thing I can say is that this rumor was determined by Antifa This is 100% incorrect information. “
Dozens of fires burning in California, Washington and Oregon, of which at least 20 people have died, began in many ways, mostly by people, though not intentionally. Lightning, faulty or knocked out power lines and accidents, ignited by a fireworks device during an “gender-reveal party” like the El Dorado fire in California, are some of the alleged causes of this year’s wildfires.
Despite protests from law enforcement, the rumors have spread through far-flung Facebook groups and news websites such as Gateway Pundit and Post Millennial on allegations that there is no evidence, including Jeff Accord, a 36-year-old man in a fire in Puyallup. Washington, an “antifa militant”, was arrested on charges of launching. Millennials later changed the story to call the Accord a “BLM worker”.
Some articles giving false information about the fire have gained traction on Facebook.
An article by the far-flung website Law Enforcement Today claimed without evidence that Wildfire was a “coordinated and planned” attack. It received more than 330,000 comments, likes and shares on Facebook, according to data from Facebook-owned social media analysis tool CrowdTangle. Late Thursday, the Law Enforcement updated with a story stating that “suggestions for arresting Antifa members are unfounded”, but dropped the article.
According to Facebook spokesman Andy Stone, in response to checks debating the antifast rumors, Facebook was “reducing its distribution and showing stronger warning labels for people watching it.”
One of the earliest claims of anti-roaming was former Republican nominee Paul Romero of the US Senate in Oregon, Viral tweet The Dallas County Police arrested six Antifa arsonists. Romero stood with his tweet in a phone interview on Thursday, calling the fire a “coordinated intentional attack” by Antifa but providing no evidence for a claim that he “spoke to the duties of the sheriff who made the arrest.” Is heard.”
Romero’s post was spread further by followers of QAnon, a conspiracy movement based on the idea that Trump is leading a secret war against a group of political, business and Hollywood activists who submit the theory, killing the devil Commits and murders children. The leader of the movement, an anonymous person who posts on a message board as a “cue”, included Romero’s tweet in the post on Thursday morning.
Some users responded to Romero’s post, stating that they had been sent by Q and false Qion talking that the fire was part of an elaborate political conspiracy. According to data obtained from the dissolution analytics tool Hoik, most of the traffic on Romero’s post came after Q’s post, almost a full day after Romero posted it.
Antifa, a loose network of Radical’s autonomous groups that rely on direct action rather than police or court systems to shut down true and perceived fascism, increasingly blamed for unrest during Black Lives Matter protests Gaya and became a subject of baselessness. There are rumors that the group will arrive in the white suburbs to loot homes by buses and destroy city centers. Those false rumors often create a deadlock between local Black Lives Matter protesters and armed militias who come to their towns for protection from a suspected mob that never arrives.
Justin Yau, a freelance journalist who covers the fire, Tweeted On Thursday from Molalla, Oregon: “We were told by an armed group to leave us, they are wary of outsiders based on rumors of arson that set fire to the area.”
In May, Trump tweeted that he would name Antifa as a terrorist organization and made the group a major target in campaign advertisements and texts. “Antif Thugs Will Ruin Subras!” The Trump campaign texted supporters on Thursday.