One of the world’s biggest fake news in 2020 comes from Canada | Coronavirus

On October 14, a Canadian blog posted an article titledIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it. Does this information leak show Trudeau’s crackpot plan for COVID-19 in 2021? You decide. The article was based on an email received from LPC_leaker, who presented himself as a whistleblower within the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC).

I want to provide you with some very important information. I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada committee. I sit on several committees, but the information I provide comes from the Strategic Planning Committee (which is chaired by the Prime Minister’s Office), wrote in English this so-called whistleblower.

In his email, the latter detailed what he presented as the government’s roadmap for the coming months: total containment, the deployment of the army, the emergence of a new virus called COVID-21, by the way. through compulsory vaccination, internment camps for the recalcitrant and nothing less than the abolition of private property in the country.

All I know is I don’t like it and I think it’s gonna put the Canadiens in a dark future (sic), concluded the author, borrowing a lame English formulation.

Several verification media quickly denied this leakIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.. Not only did this email contain several ideas that had already been refuted, but the committee in question, the Strategic Planning Committee, simply does not exist.In addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it. within the Canadian government. Well-known figures in the conspiratorial-flavored community also quickly urged caution.

The fake news explodes

Nonetheless, email has caught on on social media. The blog post was shared almost 10,000 times on Facebook, and then the text of the email itself also began to travel. Videos about him have been posted on Facebook and YouTube. French translations began to circulate in Canada. The text was also found in the forum of the 8kun site, where the famous Q, central character of the QAnon conspiracy, publishes his messages.

That’s not all. We were able to find translations of this email in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Hungarian, Russian and Polish. In the Philippines, a video in TagalogIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it. about this fake leak has accumulated no less than 3.4 million views on Facebook.

She's a lady speaking in a Facebook video.View larger imageIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

This Tagalog video has been viewed over 3.4 million times.

Photo: Screenshot – Facebook

Then the leak arrived in France, which is hardly surprising since the text had been translated into French. On the other hand, what raises the eyebrows is that someone took care to modify it to give the impression that it is about a leak… of the French government. All references to Canada or its institutions have been modified in French style.

Barely installed the High Commission for Planning [NDLR : un vrai comité du gouvernement français] did not wait long to get to work and take advantage of this Covidian pseudo-crisis to carry out the rest of the agenda planned by the Elite. In a note sent to us, he proposes to the government a series of delusional and disturbing actions in order to bring us to the big financial reset wanted by the Cabal., asserted on October 25 a French conspiracy blog. The rest of the article was a French translation of the email from LPC_leaker.

Shortly after, a graphic with this false information was shared thousands of times on Facebook in France. This forced the French government to deny them, as several French verification media sought to set the record straight.

Let’s face it, there is something absurd about seeing fake news invented in Canada about the Canadian government bounce back to the airwaves of LCI.In addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it., in France, when thousands of French people believed it was a document from their government.

He's a television reporter.

Screenshot of an LCI capsule dealing with this fake news.

Photo: Screenshot – LCI

During his visit this week to DecryptorsIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.Newsguard’s editor-in-chief for Europe, Chine Labbé, explained to us that Canada, and more specifically Quebec, sometimes allows disinformation to find an audience in France.

We have seen that conspiracy theories passed from the United States to France thanks to a transmission belt via the language and Quebec., she illustrated.

An email of uncertain origin

But who is behind this false leak? This is where the question gets complicated.

According to our research, the very first mention of this email on social media appeared in the early morning hours of October 14. A well-known figure in the conspiracy movements in British Columbia claimed on Facebook that she received it in her inbox and then published the text. Each person has to decide for themselves whether this is true or not, she wrote. Its post has been shared over 3,400 times. The blog post appeared an hour later.

Other members of his community said in the comments that they had also received this email. An hour after the post went live, the email appeared in a conspiratorial forum, a post viewed nearly 60,000 times.

We sent an email to the address of the supposed whistleblower, LPC_leaker. If he never replied to us, the email address does exist, and our message has been delivered to him. Based on the number of people who claim to have received the fake leak, it appears that this person indeed attempted to spread it by emailing several figures in the conspiracy movement in Western Canada.

It is impossible for us to determine the identity of its author. Let us note all the same some strange elements of this story.

First, the email does not appear to have been written by someone whose mother tongue is English. The original text features twisted turns of phrase that betray a poor mastery of Shakespeare’s language.

It also seems that someone tried to propagate this false leak in a rather unusual way. We were able to determine that the text of the email was consistently posted in the comments section of thousands of websites around the world.

Within days, the post appeared in the comments section of a spice shop in Britain, a cider house in France, a real estate broker in Monaco, and so on. In all, we were able to find almost 8000 instancesIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it. where this post was posted in various comment sections, with no apparent link between the sites that host them. The volume of messages indicates that this is most likely an automated campaign.

It's a Google search and the text appears in multiple results.View larger imageIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. (New window)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Screenshot of a Google search showing that the text appears on some 7,750 web pages.

Photo: Screenshot – Google

In one of the sites in question, the e-mail was relayed by a user who published, in two years, nearly 194,000 comments. Most of these, published in the thousands a day, contain spam-type ads for all kinds of questionable businesses. This type of spamming has been well known for a long time and some unscrupulous web marketing companies offer this service.

It is also relevant to note that at the time the email began circulating, in mid-October, the government of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, faced a vote of confidence, which would have could plunge the country into an early election.

A coordinated campaign?

Could all of this be part of a coordinated campaign to harm the Canadian government for a possible election? I put the question to Fenwick McKelvey, a communications professor at Concordia University who is interested in disinformation on the web. Difficult to know without having identified the person behind the LPC_leaker account, according to him.

You never know and it’s hard to tell, but it seems oddly coordinated, he says. What surprises me is that this supposedly leaked document is of really poor quality, it’s a really badly constructed fake, and despite that, a huge number of people have fallen for it.

According to our analysis, at the very least, millions of people all over the world have been exposed to this fake news in multiple languages, although no one knows its true origin.

According to Mr. McKelvey, the forged document was probably taken seriously because it appears to confirm already popular conspiracy ideas, such as the Great Reset or the QAnon movement. He points out that LPC_leaker’s email even plays on Cold War fears, such as the spread of a Communist-style system across the planet.

The fact that so many people took it seriously so quickly is really what worries me the most, he says. It shows how a lot of people are predisposed to believe something like that.

While it is impossible to determine whether this is a disinformation campaign organized by a person or an organization with the aim of derailing an election, this fake news nonetheless demonstrates how easy it is to inject disinformation within a hyperactive community on the web with the help of a simple email and thus spreading it almost instantly to millions of people, Mr. McKelvey argues.

That such a primitive disinformation attempt was so resoundingly successful is the most disturbing element in this story., he concludes.

Decryptors.  Marie-Pier Élie, Jeff Yates, Nicholas De Rosa and Alexis De Lancer.

Janelle B. Smith

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