It’s easy to dismiss conspiracy theorists who say COVID-19 doesn’t exist, or that we are all living through a “plandemic” – an event orchestrated by the evil and powerful.
But NHS workers and the police have told Sky News the people who spread those theories are a “genuine problem”, whose “fake news” may damage generations to come.
The Police Federation told Sky News currently around three quarters of protests are against lockdown restrictions. Worryingly, the remainder are largely organised by COVID-conspiracists and anti-vaxxers.
Sky News took a detailed look at those promoting COVID conspiracy theories in the UK – online and offline.
We found endless groups and pages circulating conspiracies, but three organisations dominate the landscape – Stand Up X, Stop New Normal and Save Our Rights UK.
These groups seek to generate money, often through donations. The leader of one group has amassed at least £45,000 from the public. Other groups have launched paid-for social media platforms and a shop.
Our investigation into these three groups shows they push an array of conspiracies including that coronavirus is less harmful than science says, to denying COVID-19 exists at all, to the debunked dangers of taking the vaccine.
Read more: Sky ‘News’ hit-job on those who refuse to be obedient slaves like Sky employees and the writers of this article. Attacked by Murdoch-owned Sky News? It’s like being savaged by a dead sheep and still more confirmation that what we say is true