A Crazy Conspiracy About Oprah is Circulating on the Internet and She’s Not Happy About It
Sometimes curiosity and uncertainty can lead people to come up with and believe even the most outrageous of ideas. Case in point: Oprah Winfrey’s name trended online recently thanks to a hoax that accused her of committing serious crimes.
An online post spread information that the media mogul was allegedly arrested on charges of human trafficking and had her Boca Raton, Florida home raided by authorities. Things eventually went out of hand when these accusations went viral and Winfrey herself addressed the public to clear her name.
The star took to Twitter to say that what the conspiracy posts are saying isn’t true at all and that she was neither arrested nor had her house raided. Despite some hardcore conspiracy theorists not believing her, the 66-year-old media personality was backed by the Boca Raton Police Department.
Belief in Conspiracies
The hoax is believed to be the product of those who believe in QAnon, an online far-right conspiracy theory that purports that there is a secret plot against President Donald Trump. It also believes that the president is planning to take down a powerful global ring composed of elites. Another one of QAnon’s notorious theories is ‘Pizzagate’, which went viral during the 2016 elections.
The current scare brought by the worldwide coronavirus outbreak seems to have caused some of these theorists to believe that the ‘Great Awakening’ is coming to expose and takedown famous celebrities.
According to conservative social media consultant, Michael Coudrey, the conspiracy movement has been further radicalized even though its predictions and theorists have since been debunked. Coudrey laments how unfortunate this is as it leads to the spread of disinformation.
More Online Activity
It’s also worth noting that more people are reportedly online at the moment due to isolation safety precautions amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes thousands of students as even colleges and universities have canceled on-campus classes. The popular website Reddit has particularly seen a sudden surge in traffic.
That said, the hoax involving Winfrey is believed to have originated from Facebook posts before crossing over to Twitter, where it trended practically overnight.
The host’s name along with words like ‘raided’ and arrested’ were among the most mentioned words on the platform when the hoax spread.
There was also an increase in Google searches on the keywords ‘coronavirus’ and ‘coronavirus conspiracy theory’.
Other keywords involved Tom Hanks’ announcement of being coronavirus positive and the timing of numerous powerful CEOs stepping down in 2020.
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