Money and Conspiracies (1): How Antivax Builds a Business Model

Ema Krusi, who assured us she would be happy to answer our questions “but not before June 20”, made a name for herself in 2020 for her viral videos. He attacked Bill Gates, calling for the rejection of “intoxicating” masks, screening tests and vaccines.

Now, Ema Krusi’s videos are more professional. He also conducts interviews with guests such as Canadian Sylvain Laforest – who notably challenges 9/11 and global warming.

Also read Money and conspiracies (2): these financial advisers target conspiratorial savers

Books, exercises and dietary supplements. But the videographer now also expresses himself on more diverse themes, for a fee. An online store offers to buy its own published books, Click! at Wrong start – Birth recovery, or to register for its online training courses in personal development and childbirth. It costs between 99 euros (or 60 euros in the promotion, for a 3h20 video lesson and 6h20 a podcast, as well as access to a private Facebook group) and 350 euros (144 euros in the promotion) for a more personalized service. Another variation of the “Ema Krusi brand”: Novoma food supplements. He also gives conferences, as scheduled for Etoy on June 24.

Personal development, a ready path for these new influencers, believes French journalist Anthony Mansuy, who last week published a book entitled The Dissidents: A year in the conspiratorial bubble.

“Many people who are influenced by these theories find themselves after this health crisis. It happens that they are separated from their loved ones. Therefore they often need a community, to resocialize .So in case they have a problem, they can quickly find these books or these conspiratorial influencer training courses.

He added:

“This lack of trust of politicians, pharma and industry, understandable because of many scandals, creates a new way of life and is therefore a potential clientele.”

Lots of goodies. Other figures or motions of the complosphere became real “marks”. To begin with Julian Wolf (a nickname), at the origin of the “Great Awakening”, a conspiracy media, anti-vaccines, which notably published a list of Jews working in CNN and in New York Times. This trained graphic designer has been selling flyers and T-shirts for ten years on the internet, Anthony Mansuy explains. And since “Great Awakening” was created, she’s been selling (when her pages aren’t censored) T-shirts with conspiracy messages, via Spreadshirt’s personalized clothing site.

We can also cite Antoine Cuttitta, a videographer who promotes conspiracy theories inspired by QAnon, this pro-Trump movement that emerged in 2017 that believes in the existence of a pedo-San organization that governs the world. Antoine Cuttitta notably broadcasts alternative news on television. On the “Human Alliance 2020” site, he sells beanies, caps and other mugs with the brand logo in question. He also calls for donations.

Derivative products and other similar offers are clearly not the prerogative of conspiracy theorists, but enjoy some success. Rudy Reichstad, site manager Conspiracy Watch, the Observatory of conspiracy theories and conspiracy theoriesexamines the developments of this “business”:

“Often, it’s a combination of circumstances. These people meet in a way of success and decide to combine business with pleasure, like other militant reasons. I think, with the exception of exceptions, that the making money is the main driver, or that there is a business plan at the base.

Anthony Mansuy nuances:

“Some are also marketing experts, who are well integrated into the system. They know how it works. Misinformation can also be a reason to gain new customers, in a more cynical way.

The case of funding platforms. Books, exercises or derivative products are all means of funding its purpose (conspiratorial). Crowdfunding platforms are too: conspiratorial film producers Just a moment raised 300,000 euros thanks to the Tipeee and Ulule platforms. A situation that has notably reaped a lot of criticism over the online crowdfunding platform Tipeee, built on the principle of tipping. Especially since Michael Goldman, co-founder of the site said: “I suppose everything there is on this site, from the most anti-Semitic to the least anti-Semitic, and from the most conspiratorial to at the very least conspiratorial. ” What about now? A Tipeee representative replied to us:

“This is a very awkward sentence. Tipeee believes that private companies should not judge what people have the right to say or not. Conspiracy or what is judged as such is not an opinion suppressed by law. of France and the platforms are not held accountable by law for content beyond what is obviously illegal. Anti-Semitism, in this case, is. “

A content creator on Tipeee must commit “not to publish elements […] unlawful, deceptive or wrong, xenophobic […]. ” Otherwise, the pages or the creator account may be deleted. Tipee’s team reviews content when opening a new page and the law firm looks at any “borderlines” that may appear. Which means the pages are like in Leonard Sojli at Alice Pazalmar is not considered Tipeee’s problem.

Léonard Sojli collects thanks to his page “Say sept” 1771 euros per month thanks to 233 “tipeurs”. Ayon Conspiracy Watch, he was one of the leading figures of the QAnon movement in the French language. Some of his statements about Jews were accused of being anti-Semitic, although he denied this. He lives between France and Switzerland.

Alice Pazalmar, she can count on the help of eighteen tippers, but did not specify how much she earns each month thanks to her Tipeee page “¿Pourquoi Pas?”. In 2019, Alice Pazalmar founded the site One Nation in 2019, “a wave of planetary emancipation that invites you to quietly seize your personal power”. In 2020, in one of his videos, he said that there was “a network of senior people in the highlands who wanted to […] to attack our children ”. The young woman had to abandon her plan to establish the One Nation “community” in the South West of France. The online platform HelloAsso decided in 2021 to suspend a participatory kitty that had raised more than 200,000 euros in a few days.

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