Surf brand founder has been keeping 'Stop the Steal' conspiracy theories alive: report

Surf brand founder has been keeping 'Stop the Steal' conspiracy theories alive: report
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According to a report at The Daily Beast, the founder of the popular RVCA surf clothing line has been pushing "stop the steal" conspiracy theories using the Twitter account @We_Have_Risen.

As the Beast's Kelly Weill reports, Conan Hayes -- a former pro surfer who sold his company to clothing brand competitor Billabong for $30 million in 2010 -- has been helping out with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's campaign to prove the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former president Donald Trump.

According to the report, "@We_Have_Risen, tweeted pictures of what he implied were raw vote tallies photographed in Antrim County, Michigan, a key swing state at the center of the stolen election fantasy. Among other offerings, he included photos of a dissected Dominion voting machine (Republicans accused Dominion of helping rig the election, and the company is now suing pro-Trump outlets over these false claims). The conspiratorial captions were well received by his followers, some of whom had previously taken interest in the user's communications with the administrator of a QAnon-connected message board."

Hayes identity as the person behind the conspiracy-minded Twitter account was revealed at Lindell's symposium in South Dakota last week.

According to the report, the @We_Have_Risen account began active pushing QAnon conspiracies back in 2018, with the Beast noting, "That year, the account even reached out to The Daily Beast, tweeting a QAnon graphic at a reporter who noted that QAnon fans were trying to attract journalists' attention. The QAnon conspiracy theory falsely accuses Trump's opponents of a variety of crimes, sometimes including drinking children's blood."

Weill adds, "By November 2020, @We_Have_Risen had latched onto conspiracy theories about voter fraud and attracted more than 40,000 followers. On 8kun, the forum that hosted the QAnon theory, users frequently shared @We_Have_Risen's posts, especially when he interacted with 8kun administrator Ron Watkins. "

Weill adds that Hayes did not respond to questions about his involvement, explaining, "Hayes did not return requests for comment for this story. Likewise, @We_Have_Risen did not return requests for comment, but went private less than an hour after The Daily Beast first reached out in May. But court records, interviews with people connected to election lawsuits, and Hayes's own social media confirm his intricate involvement with the movement."

You can read more here.


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