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Old 26 January 2019, 01:10 PM
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musicgeek musicgeek is offline
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Default Trapped in a hoax: survivors of conspiracy theories speak out

Good article looking at some real-life impact of conspiracy theories.

What happens to those caught up in the toxic lies of conspiracy theorists? The Guardian spoke to five victims whose lives were wrecked by falsehoods

Conspiracy theories used to be seen as bizarre expressions of harmless eccentrics. Not any more. Gone are the days of outlandish theories about Roswell’s UFOs, the “hoax” moon landings or grassy knolls. Instead, today’s iterations have morphed into political weapons. Turbocharged by social media, they spread with astonishing speed, using death threats as currency.

Together with their first cousins, fake news, they are challenging society’s trust in facts. At its most toxic, this contagion poses a profound threat to democracy by damaging its bedrock: a shared commitment to truth.
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Old 27 January 2019, 08:23 AM
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BrianB BrianB is offline
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Pretty good article. I like how it focuses on the victims of conspiracy theories and not the people who spread them. However, I think he should have included the Pittsburg synagogue shooting since the suspect believed Jews were behind the migrant caravan. Also, I agree and disagree with the following from the article:

Instead, today's iterations have morphed into political weapons. Turbocharged by social media, they spread with astonishing speed, using death threats as currency.
I agree with latter part about how social media has sped things up but not with the former since conspiracy theories have been used for political weapons for a very long time. For example, the John Birch Society's conspiracy theory that claimed communists had they infiltrated and controlled the US government had a huge political impact.

And to show it's still ongoing, we can add this:
"'Pizzagate' restaurant survives arson attempt and investigators have a suspect" CBS News 25 January 2019
Comet Ping Pong, the Washington, D.C. pizzeria that internet hoaxers made famous as part of the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory, was the alleged victim of arson on Thursday night, and investigators are searching for a suspect.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) sent out a tweet Friday night with a picture of a "white male, 25 - 30 years old, with blonde hair, mustache and a beard" saying that the man was "wanted for questioning."


Last edited by BrianB; 27 January 2019 at 08:52 AM. Reason: Fixed typos.
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