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Mon Aug 12, 2019, 07:25 PM

With Jeffrey Epstein's Death, Conspiracy Theories Have Officially Gone Mainstream

In the era of Trump, Big Tech, and the virulent spread of misinformation, it’s hard not to feel like we’re moving closer and closer toward a post-truth dystopia where facts have officially taken a backseat to incendiary or politically divisive theory. Last Saturday, however, arguably marked a turning point in the evolution of fake news, a moment when the mainstreaming of misinformation sprang from mere hypothetical to verifiable reality.

It all began in the early hours of Saturday morning, when news broke that Jeffrey Epstein, the financier-turned-convicted sex offender who was arrested last month on sex trafficking charges, had been found dead in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal jail in New York City. Early reports from MCC indicated that he had died by suicide.

To those following the case, the timing of Epstein’s death, not to mention the circumstances surrounding it, was shocking, to say the least. A mere three weeks before his passing, Epstein had been rushed to the hospital following a reported suicide attempt, which led him to be placed on suicide watch and under close supervision by MCC guards. It was later reported that he was not on suicide watch at the time, for reasons that still remain unclear, a fact that sparked outrage and intense suspicion. Perhaps even more to the point, Epstein’s death came just a day after thousands of court documents from a previous lawsuit were released, thus implicating many famous and powerful men, including Prince Andrew, billionaire Glenn Dubin, and former Gov. Bill Richardson.

Almost immediately, the social media misinformation machine went into overdrive. Among the usual suspects on the far-right, most conspiracy theories centered around the fact that former President Bill Clinton, a former Epstein crony, had ordered a hit on Epstein in prison, dredging up a decades-old conspiracy theory and causing terms like #ClintonBodyCount and #Arkanicide to trend. (President Trump later endorsed this theory by retweeting a post by conspiracy theorist Terrence K. Williams, which said, “#JefferyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead.”) Many on the left followed suit, accusing Trump of having orchestrated a hit on Epstein in prison, resulting in the #TrumpBodyCount hashtag. One theory promoted by indie pop band Foster the People was that Epstein had faked his own death, tweeting New York Post photos of Epstein’s corpse and comparing them to photos taken of the financier while he was alive. “My guess is, Epstein’s on a private plane to somewhere in the middle east getting prepped for plastic surgery right now,” the account tweeted.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/jeffrey-epstein-conspiracy-theories-qanon-memes-870430/

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Reply With Jeffrey Epstein's Death, Conspiracy Theories Have Officially Gone Mainstream (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Aug 12 OP
TwilightZone Aug 12 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Aug 12, 2019, 07:46 PM

1. They've been mainstream for a while now.

The chief "birther" is now President of the United States.

The governor of Texas promoted Jade Helm and wasn't laughed out of office.

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