Fascist cross-pollination of Australian conspiracist Telegram channels

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about trauma and uncertainty for vast swathes of the world population, including in Australia. One effect of this has been the growth of COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and general conspiracism. This article explores efforts by fascists and neo-Nazis to exploit the rise in conspiratorial thinking for recruitment and dissemination of their ideas. Five Australian conspiracist Telegram channels are studied for signs of fascist cross-pollination, and it is found that users with fascist sympathies attempt to influence the channels’ discourse through appeals to purported ideological and situational commonalities.

Tags: Australia, conspiracy theories, Covid-19, Extreme Right, fascists, neo-Nazis