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Crying ‘Pedophile’ Is the Oldest Propaganda Trick in the Book

Almost a year ago, a woman accused Tom Hanks of sexually abusing her as a child and began posting reconstructed memories on Twitter. The accounts are disturbing and specific, but incomplete and unproven—something Hanks’ accuser attributes to the trauma-based mind control she believes herself a victim of. Even though (or perhaps, because) her claims remain unverified, the pedophilia allegations were quickly embraced by a group known for up-leveling whisperings of child abuse into full-blown scandal: devotees of the QAnon conspiracy. Believers in the QAnon conspiracy hold that President Trump is…

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Headlines 

The ‘Guerrilla’ Wikipedia Editors Who Combat Conspiracy Theories

Susan Gerbic spent her career photographing babies at a department store in Salinas, California, just 100 miles south of San Francisco. Today, the retired 55-year-old has dedicated her life to something entirely different: Wikipedia. As a member of the skeptical movement, Gerbic is committed to promoting critical thinking, scientific inquiry, and empirical evidence—particularly when it comes to fringe ideas. In 2010, she started a Wikipedia project to “improve skeptical content” on the crowdsourced encyclopedia, by writing new articles about topics like people who claim to have supernatural abilities and improving…

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