QAnon influencers and anti-vaxxers are spreading an antisemitic conspiracy theory about the global food crisis caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Conspiracy theorist Twitter accounts have started pushing disinformation blaming Jewish people for the interruption of grain exports from Ukraine, echoing claims by the Russian government -- which has blamed western sanctions on the disruption, according to research by the Network Contagion Research Institute that was reported by The Guardian.
"According to NCRI, the accounts frequently link rising food insecurity to a 'cabal of shadowy, and often Jewish elites, for bringing about the New World Order,' rather than to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine," the newspaper reported.
Russia has blocked Ukraine's shipping ports, which puts millions of people in Africa and elsewhere at risk of starvation, but antisemitic social media users are making up claims about Jewish manipulation of the food supply.
“Never believe for one moment there’s a shortage of anything. Food. Water. Oil. They create and manufacture these shortages. These aren’t naturally occurring whatsoever," claimed QAnon influencer GhostEzra.
The NCRI and the Rutgers Miller Center conducted open-source analysis of Russian disinformation websites and individuals, and then analyzed the use of terms around food security on Twitter and Telegram, and detected the pattern of disinformation flowing from Kremlin-linked media and QAnon influencers and other conspiracy theorists.
“There is a significant overlap between QAnon and other anti-vax and online conspiracy communities,” said Alex Goldenberg, lead intelligence analyst at the NCRI and a research fellow at the Rutgers Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience. “Some of the more colorful food-mandate conspiracies intermingle with anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.”