A new study from the Soufan Center and polling firm Limbik, and touted in major corporate news media, claims that China and Russia are fueling “QAnon conspiracy theories” in the United States, and has found that 30 percent of Americans think COVID19 was created in a lab.

It further found that close to 36 percent think “elites, politicians and/or celebrities are involved in global pedophile rings.”

From Yahoo News:

Despite the outlandish nature of QAnon claims, the report also suggests that adherents to the movement’s conspiracy theories may be far more prevalent than some previous studies have shown. A new poll of 9,308 U.S. adults, conducted for the Soufan Center by Limbik, a data analytics firm, found that between 20 and 23 percent of respondents self-identified as a QAnon believer, member or supporter — figures far higher than in some earlier surveys.

The numbers became even higher when those polled were asked about specific issues that QAnon has emphasized. For example, when asked whether they believe “elites, politicians and/or celebrities are involved in global pedophile rings,” 35.8 percent said they did, up from 26.7 percent from a similar sample last December.

Asked whether they believe COVID-19 was created in a lab, 30.6 percent said they did in February compared to 29.1 percent in December. The survey in February also found that 25 percent supported the actions of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists.

Since people are apparently incapable of doing their own research and thinking for themselves, it of course makes sense that foreign actors must somehow be lurking in the shadows, even though the report’s pollsters admit the assertion is a speculative stretch:

Zach Schwitzky, the founder of the firm, acknowledged in an interview that identifying foreign content was not “an exact science” since there is rarely publicly available account information about individuals or groups who post on Facebook. But by conducting linguistic analysis of the posts and logos or photos posted, the firm was able to unmask Russian, Chinese, Saudi and Iranian actors who were posting messages or stories that advanced QAnon beliefs about child sex trafficking rings, election fraud, vaccines and COVID-19 and related issues.

Can’t make this stuff up ….

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