Notre Dame Conspiracy Theories Are Being Fuelled By Fox News, YouTube And Of Course, Twitter

Everyone from Theresa May to the Pope is being blamed.

The Notre Dame blaze is “France’s 9/11” and only the “politically correct will tell you that it’s probably an accident” – this is what viewers of Fox News heard on Monday evening as the historic cathedral burned.

Though the cause of the fire has yet to be officially confirmed, it hasn’t stopped a number of conspiracy theories circulating online, boosted by major news channels and video platforms.

On YouTube, a livestream of the blaze from a number of outlets including USA Today included a pop-up panel featuring information about the 9/11 attacks.

In a statement to HuffPost, YouTube said the panels are “triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call”. The company confirmed it had disabled the panels for live streams related to the fire.

There has been no link made between the fire at the historic Parisian site and terrorism – in fact it was undergoing renovations at the time of the blaze.

Over on Fox News, Philippe Karsenty, a media analyst and conspiracy theorist who was previously convicted of defamation for making false accusations against a French TV network, was asked for his opinion on the fire.

During the interview with Shep Smith, he said: “Even though nobody died, it’s like a French 9/11. Of course you will hear the politically correct story that it was an accident...”

Smith cut Karsenty off, but it was too late. The clip has since been retweeted hundreds of times with people claiming it is evidence of a “conspiracy to cover up the truth”.

Author Mike Rothschild traced the path of the conspiracy theories as they spread from small anonymous accounts which were then “repackaged” by larger accounts and “spat back out to hundreds of thousands of followers”.

As Rothschild predicted, a number of influential commentators – including the verified account of a Canadian Christian activist with 122,000 followers, also posted speculation on social media suggesting it was no accident.

Despite there being no evidence the fire was deliberate, British media personality Katie Hopkins called it a “terrifying manifestation of the truth of Judeo-Christian cultures Western Europe”,

She added: “We are aflame. And powerless to quell the fire. We watch in horror as our countries burn. #NotreDame.”

Elsewhere on Twitter, just about everyone was being blamed for the fire. Depending on who you follow, it was Theresa May to distract from Brexit, Emmanuel Macron to distract from the Yellow Vest protests, or maybe even Michelle Obama for no other reason than she was in Paris a few weeks ago.

One person even suggested it was Pope Francis himself, “burning evidence” of “ritual sacrifice” of children.

It’s a familiar pattern after any major disaster: conspiracy theories about 9/11 are still popular, and almost every western terror attack or mass shooting is met with claims it was a “false flag” to further the agenda of the “deep state”.

Back in the real world, by early Tuesday morning firefighters had fully extinguished the fire at Notre Dame.

Just under 400 firefighters tackled the blaze through the night, battling to stop it wreaking complete destruction of the treasured facade after flames torched the roof, sending its spire crashing to the ground before crowds of horrified Parisians.

The Paris prosecutor said there is no evidence of arson and confirmed they were working on the assumption the blaze was an accident.


What's Hot