by Anna Phillips

Hello, and welcome back to another round of CTEC in the News! This week our experts spoke with media outlets on a variety of topics. Here’s what they had to say:

QAnon

First up: CTEC Digital Research Lead Alex Newhouse spoke with The Hill early this week for an article detailing the spread of QAnon-associated conspiracy theories globally, how this has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts social media companies have made to curb it. He discussed the hyper-viral QAnon documentary “Out of Shadows” that pushes theories that the origins of COVID-19 are connected to Bill Gates, 5G towers, and the WHO. He also described the specific allegations of child trafficking rings run by so-called “elites” that fuel these narratives.

 

AI

We also had a continuation of news covering last week’s publication of the research conducted and written by CTEC Deputy Director Kris McGuffie and Digital Research Lead Alex Newhouse on OpenAI’s new GPT-3 model. They spoke with The Register last week on the contents of their report, explaining the ease with which they were able to prime the model to produce extremist content, as well as their recommended strategies to mitigate the risk of radicalization via GPT-3.

 

Boogaloo Movement

Our final section involves a feature on cable news by CTEC Director and Middlebury Institute Professor Jason Blazakis. He was interviewed by KARE 11 News Reporter Lou Raguse on the Boogaloo Movement after members Benjamin Teeter and Michael Solomon were recently charged in federal court for conspiring to help Hamas, a group designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization. Along with describing the group’s motivations and beliefs, he also called the Minneapolis case a turning point that shows how far this movement is willing to go to achieve their goals.

 

That’s all for now! Join us next week for more CTEC in the News.