ONE of the largest conspiracy theories of our time is making its way into New York City.
CoVID-19.org, which is set to launch in early 2019, is a new site that purports to be the world’s first “micro-tied media empire.” The website promises to release a “citizen-produced video channel” that “provides critical info to get you in the know with the latest trending news and events.” It also promises to post “exclusive celebrity interviews,” clips from popular Snapchat Stories, “exclusive photo challenges,” and, possibly most important for the conspiracy theory factory, “social media to help push our buzz.”
The entertainment network claims to have been created by four “rebranded talent agencies” and will be headed by YouTube stars such as Caleb Logan — one of the largest conspiracy theorist communities on the web — and Lauren Joannides.
But the site is nothing more than a façade. Indeed, the four agents involved in developing CoVID-19.org and are not affiliated with the company, according to multiple industry sources who asked not to be named in order to protect their relationships with the companies involved.
CoVID-19.org is just one of the many social media pages that bring millions of followers to conspiracies believed to be promoted by fake news outlets, social media platforms, and right-wing influencers. A closer look at CoVID-19.org reveals some troubling displays of misinformation.
For instance, the site’s tagline is “The Honest Story Behind the Fox News.” But the only “Greenway” programming on the site is a series of short segments featuring Caleb Logan, with no indication that the network might be anything more than a web tool to promote Logan’s YouTube channel.
CoVID-19.org’s logo is the word “Truth,” but a Google search for Truth or Alt-Nation turns up several dubious conspiracy theory conspiracy sites linked to the LLC.
Another website, Ternity, is listed as a contact for a customer service associate at CoVID-19.org, a position that, according to LinkedIn, is no longer listed on the company’s website.
It appears likely that all of these fake businesses were created through some sort of cloning system for viral video content, which has also been used by other sites, including Ternity, to create false company announcements.
CoVID-19.org’s list of personalities includes several long-shot Republican candidates for the United States Senate, including Robert Pfaff, Harmeet Dhillon, and Justin Slavin, who all run ads touting their electoral success to appeal to those seeking to associate themselves with the internet.
Although CoVID-19.org may just be a video channel for a fringe ideology, it continues to get promoted on Reddit and other pages on the internet — perhaps even by the mainstream Republicans who currently occupy Congress. An American Future Fund staffer wrote on Reddit, “Should the ultra-conservatives somehow sweep the midterms, we might want to talk with Perma-Center Right tIs like Roger Stone and Bill Mitchell.”
A post about the site was shared on Instagram by Randy Philips, a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer who is now a senior adviser to Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. After the piece was shared on Instagram, a Reddit user told the employee that they considered him “a totally unreliable source” and a “right-wing hack.”
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