Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OccupyWallStreet Spawns Conspiracy Theories
Top 10 Occupy Wall Street Conspiracy Theories
By Lyz Lenz

Conspiracy theories have surrounded the Occupy Wall Street movement since the moment protesters hit the ground. From ties to George Soros to cries of censorship and anti-Semitism, the Occupy Wall Street movement seems to have done more to fuel rumors than it has to end corporate greed. But they have some conspiracy theories of their own...

1. Funded by George Soros

How did Occupy Wall Street form so quickly and so efficiently? Is liberal money man George Soros behind the protests? Soros says he merely sympathizes with protesters.

2. Hidden Anti-Semites?

Occupy Wall Street is a movement ostensibly focused on ousting corporate greed, but there allegations of anti-Semitism more akin to racial warfare than class warfare. Supporters, however, say that any anti-Semitism is occurring on the fringe and that the OWS movement is "fundamentally Haimish." Certainly you won't see any in the photos.

3. Obama 2012

Critics allege that Occupy Wall Street is just mouthing the talking points of the Obama administration, leading some conservatives to believe that the protest is just part of the re-elect Obama campaign. Despite the rumors spurred by Repulican heavy-hitters like Rush Limbaugh and Herman Cain, many of the protesters staunchly oppose the current administration.

4. Twitter Censorship

Despite allegations from angry protesters, Twitter asserts it has not censored the hashtag #occupywallstreet as a trending topic. But despite thousands of Tweets on the subject, it has yet to appear as a trending topic as of press time.

5. Facebook Filtering

Several YouTube videos and forum postings show alleged evidence of Facebook censoring posts and updates about Occupy Wall Street protests. Facebook has yet to respond to the allegations, but Facebook is a free service with the rights to remove content at their discretion.

6. Media Blackout

Keith Olbermann alleged that there has been a media blackout on the Occupy Wall Street Protests and many are following his rallying cry, which has gotten so much traction that the NPR ombudsman, the Columbia Journalism Review and others were prompted to respond and justify their coverage.

7. Media Myth

While some cry censorship, others, like Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express, are accusing the media of giving the protests too much coverage -- and with a clear political bias. Most media outlets have ignored these accusations -- some might say "as much as they've ignored the protests themselves."

8. Yahoo! Email

Was Yahoo censoring emails about the Occupy Wall Street protests? Think Progress seems to think so. Yahoo apologized for the error and chalked it up to a "false positive" spam filter.

9. Big Money

Recently, JP Morgan donated $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. Protesters are claiming that the timing of the donation and the recent police crackdown on protesters is a little too much of a coincidence. Neither the NYPD nor JP Morgan have responded to the allegations. In a statement on their website, JP Morgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon noted , "These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.... We're incredibly proud to help them build this program..."

10. Police Brutality

A New York Observer article suggests that protesters might be playing up police brutality to garner support for their movement. Protesters, however, insist that the police are using unjustified force.

BONUS: Anonymous

The hacker group Anonymous has long been the bane of the FBI's existence. Now, with Anonymous offering support for the OWS protesters, John Thorpe of the website Bezinga is alleging that it is all an attempt to discredit the hackers. A web site for OWS denies any affiliation with Anonymous, WikiLeaks or any other hacker group.

BONUS: Secret Steering Committee

Who is behind the OWS protests? And are they run by a secret steering committee with a hidden agenda? A website for OWS claims that the movement is a "horizontally organized resistance movement."

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