"Conspiracy Theories Falsely Link Wildfires To 'Smart Cities'"

"Disinformation about deadly wildfires in the United States and Canada has run rampant across social media, with posts falsely blaming coordinated arson, lasers—and plans to develop "smart cities."

Allegations that the fires are a deliberate policy to clear areas for urban redesign deploy screenshots of government websites or headlines about everything from traffic monitoring to conferences about new technology.

"So what are the odds that we have two fires in two places within a week's time, and both of these places have initiatives to become smart-intelligent cities?" says a woman in a TikTok video, pointing to Lahaina, Hawaii and West Kelowna, British Columbia—both of which were ravaged by wildfires in August."

Marisha Goldhamer and Gwen Roley report for AFP September 9, 2023.

Source: AFP, 09/11/2023