BBC World Service
Help! My mum is a conspiracy influencer
19 minutes Posted Oct 23, 2020 at 9:32 pm.
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Show notes
What would you do if your mum became a conspiracy theory influencer?
Kate Shemirani is one of Twitter’s most popular anti-mask, anti-vaccine, anti-5G activists. She calls coronavirus a “plandemic” and a “scandemic”, makes the false claim that 5G radio waves cause the symptoms of the disease and even says, contrary to all the evidence, that the virus that causes Covid-19 doesn’t exist.
She’s built up a huge following on social media, speaks to rallies in London and encourages people to ignore guidelines on social distancing and mask wearing recommended by health authorities and written into law.
Her influence on public health has grown so much that one popular British newspaper recently asked: “Is this the most dangerous woman in Britain?”
But her son is worried that his mum has gone down the rabbit hole – and he’s sounding a warning for others who might be in the same situation.
Sebastian Shemirani describes how conspiracy theories always had a grip on his mother, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust her into the public eye.
Conspiracy theories have torn the family apart – and now Sebastian has spoken exclusively to the BBC about the toll it has taken on him.
Plus we hear from experts about the right way to talk to friends and family members who are being drawn in by conspiracy theories.
Presented by Jonathan Griffin and Marianna Spring
Photo: Sebastian Shemirani
Photo credit: BBC