| by Anna Phillips

News Stories

Welcome back to this week’s round of CTEC in the News! We have a few media appearances to go through, so let’s get to it.

QAnon

First up: CTEC Digital Research Lead Alex Newhouse was featured in an article by The Hill discussing ways that the U.S. election could impact the QAnon conspiracy movement. He warned of the potential of dangerous QAnon activism in the real world, noting that the movement is “inherently adversarial”.

White Supremacist Groups

CTEC Director and Middlebury Institute professor Jason Blazakis was interviewed on podcast channel The Crisis Next Door on various white supremacist groups, and how they’ve become dangerous enough to be compared by the Department of Homeland Security to ISIS and al-Qaeda. He noted the uptick of attacks by these groups in recent years, contrasting with the small number of attacks by individuals in the U.S. influenced by groups such as ISIS.

Election Disinformation

One of the biggest developments in the wake of Election Day was a concerted, coordinated effort by right-wing activists and politicians to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote. In addition to lawsuits filed by the Trump Campaign, hundreds of right-wing demonstrators showed up at counting locations in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in support of a disinformation effort called “StopTheSteal”. Newhouse spoke with Politico recently about how even big, mainstream conservative accounts on Facebook were promoting this effort and planning protest events.  

Election Violence

Jason was also interviewed by German news site t-online on the threat of escalating far-right and anti-government violence during the US election process, and whether or not it could become wide-scale. He stated that while he does not believe it likely that such violence would lead to a civil war, he urged law enforcement on all levels to stay vigilant and ensure that far-right militias stay away from the polls.

In an interview on KION News Channel 5 46, Jason focused on the discussion of potential violence in response to the election results, particularly should Biden win against President Trump. He stated again that the public should not feel anxiety over the process, but noted that it was still important to remain vigilant.

That’s a wrap! Tune in next week for more CTEC in the News.