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Report: Large Number Of Southern Californians Searched Online For Conspiracy Theories, Armed Groups Ahead Of 2020 Election

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A new report finds a disturbing number of Southern Californians searched online for information about conspiracy theories and joining extremist groups ahead of the 2020 Election.

The Anti-Defamation League and Moonshot CVE, a London-based company that fights extremism, says they've tracked more than 34,000 searches, and in California, Los Angeles County was most at-risk for these searches.

According to an analysis of the report by the Southern California Newspaper Group, there were 30 at-risk searches for every 10,000 residents in Los Angeles County. San Diego County was in seventh place, with 19 searches per 10,000 people.

For every 10,000 people in each of the following counties, Riverside rounded out the top 10 with nearly 15 searches, Orange County in twelfth place with 11 searches, and San Bernardino in the 15th spot with 10 searches.

In San Bernardino County, 36% of these searches for armed groups, while in Riverside County, they made up 31%.

In a related development, Facebook says it will take several steps to fight the rise of another search topic swirling wildly online – vaccine misinformation. The social media giant says it will make it harder to search for and find anti-vaccine information on Facebook and Instagram, and will also begin displaying links to local health website alongside vaccine-related posts.

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