Conspiracy theories, driven by the global health crisis, are taking root in Europe more than ever, drawing inspiration from the QAnon movement in the United States.
From The Hague to Stuttgart and Paris, they claim to be battling the control of their minds by a ruling class that invented the COVID-19 pandemic for its own ends, seeing themselves as promoting and disseminating alternative views from the official version.
Accounts supporting the theories have been purged from Twitter and YouTube after breaking the regulations of the social media giants. Proponents have taken to other platforms to publish information — mostly false — which they claim “mainstream” media are hiding.
AFP reporters spent months looking into this environment of conspiracy theories on the continent, finding everything from adherents of QAnon, ultra-evangelicals and anti-vaxxers, to right-wing populists, the unemployed and even doctors.