Those following President Trump on Twitter have likely heard about the Dominion voter fraud disinformation campaign by now. If you haven’t, strap in for an explanation. The conspiracy was just dialed up to 11 now that QAnon is officially connected.
Early this morning, Trump tweeted out a video segment from One America News Network that claims to uncover “vulnerabilities” in Dominion Voting Systems election technology. Twitter slapped Trump’s tweet with a “disputed” label, as these claims about the election machine and software company are unfounded.
OANN, much like its closest competitor Newsmax, is a right wing news channel that has doubled down on promoting election conspiracies since Biden was declared the winner.
The main conspiracy theory promoted by OANN’s segment, and one pushed by Trump as well, claims Dominion’s systems deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide. OANN references a report by an election monitoring organization, Edison Research, as proof.
Edison Research’s president, however, says no such report exists and that it has found no evidence of voter fraud.
In an effort to legitimize the conspiracy, OANN brought in an expert it introduced as Ron Watkins, a “large systems technical analyst.” However, OANN left out an important part of Watkins’ resume.
Ron Watkins was the longtime administrator for the website 8kun, formerly known as 8chan, up until early this month when he abruptly announced his resignation. He’s also the son of Jim Watkins, the Philippines-based pig farmer who owns 8kun. (Watkins changed the name of his hate speech-filled site after a number of web service providers cut ties following the site’s connection to a number of spree killings, including the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.)
8kun, for those who are unfamiliar, is the website that hosts postings by Q, the name used by the anonymous individual (or individuals) that followers of the QAnon conspiracy say is a high-level government official close to Trump. These conspiracy theorists believe that Q uses 8kun to feed Trump’s most ardent supporters with secret information about unfounded and false claims about Trump’s war against the deep state and global satanic sex trafficking rings run by Hollywood elites and Democrats.
In reality, many experts believe that Jim Watkins and his son Ron are actually involved in Q’s postings, if not creating them outright. This belief is backed by even the founder and former owner of 8chan, Fredrick Brennan, who sold the website to Watkins and worked for him until 2018.
The claims made in the OANN video shared by President Trump was based completely off of speculation by Ron Watkins, who claims his expertise comes from reading the manual for one of the company’s voting machines. These claims have also been repeatedly debunked.
A single scenario in a county in Michigan, which used Dominion’s software, seems to be buoying these conspiracy theories. A county clerk failed to set the machine up properly, which resulted in an incorrect vote count that gave Biden additional votes. However, the systems in place to check for this type of human error quickly caught the mistake, and Trump maintained his lead in that county, based on the accurate tabulations.
Another state of focus for the Dominion conspiracy theorists is Pennsylvania. These theories claim Dominion deleted 941,000 votes for Trump in order to give Biden the win. However, the company says, “Claims that 941,000 votes for President Trump in Pennsylvania were deleted are impossible. The 14 counties using Dominion systems collectively produced 1.3 million votes, representing a voter turnout of 76%. Fifty-two percent of those votes went to President Trump, amounting to 676,000 votes processed for the President in Pennsylvania using company systems.”
In addition, former Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Christopher Krebs refuted accusations of voter fraud. The agency went so far as to declare that the general election was “the most secure in American history.”
Trump fired Krebs on Tuesday in response. It seems the president would prefer to get his cybersecurity information from the former administrator of a conspiracy theory website who read a manual.
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ที่มา : Mashable