October 3, 2020 | technology | No Comments
By Amanda Seitz and Beatrice Dupuy | Associated Press
CHICAGO — News Friday that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 sparked an explosion of rumors, misinformation and conspiracy theories that in a matter of hours littered the social media feeds of many Americans.
Tweets shared thousands of times claimed Democrats might have somehow intentionally infected the president with the coronavirus during the debates. Others speculated in Facebook posts that maybe the president was faking his illness. And the news also ignited constant conjecture among QAnon followers, who peddle a baseless belief that Trump is a warrior against a secret network of government officials and celebrities that they falsely claim is running a child trafficking ring.
In the final weeks of the presidential campaign, Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis was swept into an online vortex of coronavirus misinformation and the falsehoods swirling around this polarizing election.