Modeling flower crowns, flowing dresses and bikinis in tropical locales like Hawaii and Thailand, Kim Cohen’s colorful Instagram feed looks like that of your typical millennial influencer.
“I’m an ambassador for Revolve, and I get a lot of amazing free clothes constantly,” said the travel, wellness and lifestyle influencer in her Instagram Stories on June 4. In the same Story, she showed off a frilly baby blue dress with a Revolve link to purchase.
But although her main feed is made up of photos like her modeling a yellow sundress on a beach in Tulum or posing in a gold jacket on a ski lift in Tahoe, Cohen’s saved Stories are full of QAnon conspiracy theories: George Floyd may still be alive, Britney Spears tried to escape from the deep state cabal and was subjected to mind control experiments, and an artisanal doughnut shop in Portland is part of a human trafficking ring.
This is just one example of a subset of lifestyle influencers who have posted conspiracy theories about everything from QAnon to the “Plandemic.” They’re also still posting about some of the world’s largest brands and retailers like Nike and Nordstrom. With brands pouring more money into influencer marketing, they run the risk of associating unwittingly with those pushing conspiracy theories. This is thanks to affiliate and influencer networks, which enable brands to work with thousands of mid-tier influencers, but these same