A number of prominent figures and organizations, such as Greater Manchester Police and the Prevent Strategy are warning the public about "radicalisation", especially online. This kind of warning has been spoken about openly for quite some time, ever since David Cameron's speech about "non-violent extremists", see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.com/2014/10/alan-henning-killed.html. This time there is a specific link to the coronavirus crisis. The
force said in a Tweet, now deleted: "Online
platforms can be a fun world. Unfortunately, they can also be used to exploit
vulnerable people. If you are worried that one of your friends or family is
showing signs of radicalisation seek advice or call police on 101."
They state that one of the signs of such radicalisation is in the question: "Are they repeating conspiracy
theories?" Of course, this brings up the subsequent question of
exactly what is a conspiracy theory; or it should. As I've said elsewhere, many
pieces of perfectly normal and accepted viewpoints and historical facts are
literally conspiracy theories, see: https://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.com/2018/09/prof-karen-douglas-at-greenwich-sitp.html.
However, I'm sure the police are referring here to its popular and erroneous definition,
which needs no further explanation from me. This must surely concern a few
people, even those who reject the claims made by conspiracy theorists. It is
Orwellian Thoughtcrime by every definition of the word. A person is now a
wrongdoer based not on any action they commit, but how they choose to think and
speak. This must mean that certain viewpoints directly lead to criminal activities,
according to this notion. Source: https://reclaimthenet.org/uk-police-conspiracy-theories/.
The demonization of opinion has now spread to the coronavirus crisis, see: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/political-leaders-warn-spreading-irresponsible-17954482.
I actually do not agree with Kenneth Dobson, but I do not consider him a
dangerous man for expressing his opinion. Obviously one of the most outspoken
purveyors of conspiratorial matter on the internet is myself. Am I now a
Thoughtcriminal? Surely readers who know me will understand the lunacy involved
here... Wait a sec. Who's that knocking at my door?... Manchester
See here for background: https://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.com/2013/01/one-year-on.html.