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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic from 2019-onward completely changed everyday life and outlooks. All the world's economies, in shambles, only served as the tip of the iceberg. News medias -- how people get information -- changed drastically. But, was it inevitable? Did the rise of the digital age starting in the mid-1990s ultimately cause people to distrust mainstream media? Unfortunately, yes to both of those questions. The COVID-19 worldwide outbreaks led to a steep rise in the far-right, alt-right, and pseudosciences. How we originally got to this point, however, requires backtracking to 2015. 


2015: The Beginning of the End

On June 16, 2015, billionaire and TV host, Donald Trump, announced that he was running for POTUS with a focus on anti-immigration. Many right-winged and Republican citizens championed his intentions and demeanor. It is around this time when terms such as "fake news," "liberal media," and "MSM (Mainstream Media)" were espoused by conservatives and right-wingers. A year-and-a-half later, Donald Trump defeats Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton in a surprising turn of events. During the transitional period where Trump was the President-elect and Obama was leaving office, these insults increased two-fold because most of the statistical polls showed Hillary winning swing states that Trump captured. Furthermore, conspiracy theories and theorists would flourish among the masses because of the ever-increasing "anti-government" attitude of citizens. 


2018-2019: Denialists Rule the Media

The date is March 22, 2019, and you are searching for videos on YouTube. You want to make fun of anti-vaxxers, so you click on a video. This particular video, made by CNN, is about how measles -- which was eradicated in the United States back in 2000 -- is making a comeback in major cities across America. The reason for this? More and more suburban soccer moms are doing quick, ten-minute "researches" on Google and come across a study by Andrew Wakefield claiming that the measles vaccine can cause autism spectrum disorder. They believe they know more than doctors with years upon years of medical experience. The video has 245,000 views, with 7k likes and 20k dislikes. 

Why are there nearly three times the amount of dislikes on a YouTube news video exposing the current resurgences of measles? Well, the first reason is because the YouTube channel that posted the video was CNN. CNN is heavily despised by moderates and right-wingers all across America. Millions believe that 100% of what CNN states is "fake news." The second reason? Well, this is listed above. Since 2005, the number of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children has soared astronomically. The comment section is plagued with comments pertaining to Big Pharma, Bill Gates, and the "evil" CDC. 


2020

The United States, and then eventually, almost the entire world was shut-down during March 2020. Of course, conspiracy theorists were taking control of the media once again. Videos showing Bill Gates, the CDC, or a pro-vaccination message often received at least twice the amount of dislikes as likes. Facebook and YouTube comments were impacted the worst. End-Times fundamentalists and far-right antisemites wrote Facebook comments the length of two essays, at least half of which is written in all-caps. What would have been a fringe-theory back in 2000 was a mainstream conservative standpoint in 2020. The majority of the Right believes that 5G cell towers are to blame for the coronavirus, and thus, several are burned to the ground in Europe. Any professional who tries to claim otherwise is heavily harassed and called a "product of Big Pharma and George Soros." 

Centuries and centuries of scientific advancements are heading down the drain. Vaccines, which helped improve lifespans by twenty years and saved millions upon millions from premature death, are now seen as evil, now seen as a "New World Order tool." Millions of preventable deaths will occur throughout this decade, but the anti-vaxxers had and will continue to deny it by making any excuse they can. 


2022

The COVID-19 outbreaks has come to an end with the virus straining out. Last year, a patented vaccine was released, but very few took the initiative of taking the vaccine because they were afraid of autism. They also believe that fluoride is in drinking water to poison us, that chemtrails are sprayed by commercial aircraft, and that the world is only 6,000 years old. CNN and MSNBC are going out of business because the far-right and anti-vaxxers have taken over the daily media via YouTube and 4chan. President Donald Trump praises the anti-vaxxer media, and also shows signs of growing distant from Fox News, as he deems even them "too liberal." 

Furthermore, other conspiracies are more widespread, especially pertaining to 9/11, medicine, and school shooting "false flags." An ailing Rush Limbaugh endorses Alex Jones to run on the Republican ticket in 2024, which he will certainly win because "nobody trusts the mainstream media." Alex Jones vows to "stop the New World Order tactics of vaccines and other forms of 'eugenics.'"

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