Conspiracy Theory Article On BBC

Mikefule

Michael Wilkinson
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
330
Likes
860
Points
99
Location
Lincolnshire UK
#1
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-47144738

Given the generally poor standard of BBC reporting these days, this is a surprisingly good article. Not brilliant, but at least worth a read. It's just a general piece about why people believe in conspiracy theories.

Or, at least, why They want us to believe that we believe in conspiracy theories...
 

blessmycottonsocks

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
2,613
Likes
3,518
Points
154
Location
Wessex and Mercia
#2
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-47144738

Given the generally poor standard of BBC reporting these days, this is a surprisingly good article. Not brilliant, but at least worth a read. It's just a general piece about why people believe in conspiracy theories.

Or, at least, why They want us to believe that we believe in conspiracy theories...
The bit about Brexiters and Remainers and their respective optimism and pessimism was particularly apt and interesting.
In The Guardian forums, it seems to be exclusively a subset of Remainers who keep wailing that the sky is falling and keep banging on about Dunkirk, unicorns, sunny uplands and 'bloody furriners" .

On the whole, most conspiracies are harmless nonsense, that we can all have a chuckle at. It's when they stray into bigotry / racism, such as the alleged international zionist conspiracy, that alarm bells start to ring.
 

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
6,137
Likes
2,972
Points
234
#3
On the whole, most conspiracies are harmless nonsense, that we can all have a chuckle at. It's when they stray into bigotry / racism, such as the alleged international zionist conspiracy, that alarm bells start to ring.
Of course, some people think that more 'harmless' theories such as David Icke's are crypto-antisemitism. I take Jon Ronson and Gordon Rutter's word that Icke really does believe what he says and really means lizards, not Jews.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
2,613
Likes
3,518
Points
154
Location
Wessex and Mercia
#4
Of course, some people think that more 'harmless' theories such as David Icke's are crypto-antisemitism. I take Jon Ronson and Gordon Rutter's word that Icke really does believe what he says and really means lizards, not Jews.
But doesn't Icke frequently quote from and endorse the anti-semitic 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'?
No wonder the Green Party dropped him as their spokesman faster than an angry tarantula when the true nature of his unwholesome beliefs was revealed.

My point was that conspiracies about the Moon landings, Area 51, Greys, Walt Disney's body, Paul McCartney's Doppelganger, chem/contrails, Coca Cola, Denver airport etc. are entertaining wackiness. Others though have sinister dog-whistle undertones and are best avoided.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
47,167
Likes
17,792
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#5
I'm just posting this here as it wouldn't really have been believed as a conspiracy theory. Senior journalists setting up a group to troll/harass women online.

Several senior French journalists have been suspended or fired for allegedly co-ordinating online harassment through a private Facebook group.

The largely-male Ligue du LOL (League of LOL) mocked women, including other journalists, with rape jokes and photoshopped pornographic images. Dozens of women have spoken out since the group was uncovered by the major French daily Libération. Libération's online editor Alexandre Hervaud is among those suspended.

People in the League of LOL set up anonymous Twitter accounts in order to harass prominent journalists, writers and activists - predominantly targeting women. Vincent Glad, a well-known freelancer who also worked for Libération, admitted founding the group in 2009. He has also been suspended from the paper.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47206248
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
47,167
Likes
17,792
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#8
This also probably belongs here. It's not just about LaRouche but how the internet has resulted in a paradigm shift in how spreaders of conspiracy theories operate:

Powerful tech companies enable conspiracy peddlers to identify vulnerable people ripe for indoctrination and line up the videos and “news articles” for them to consume. Why focus on the harm from conspiracy peddlers when you can boost traffic with enthusiastic dupes?

But the real irony was in how LaRouche’s death was covered:

Wikipedia, increasingly seen as the gold standard on the internet, at first held off updating the Lyndon LaRouche article to reflect his death, noting that the news had only appeared on LaRouche-affiliated sites, which were not considered reliable. Touché.

BEFORE THERE WAS INTERNET PARANOIA, THERE WAS LYNDON LAROUCHE
https://www.wired.com/story/before-there-was-internet-paranoia-there-was-lyndon-larouche/
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
47,167
Likes
17,792
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#9
What do y'awl think of this?

Conspiracy theorists are more inclined to accept and actively engage in antisocial behaviour and more likely to commit low-level crimes, two new psychology surveys have found.

A study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology revealed people who subscribe to conspiracies are more accepting of everyday crime, such as trying to claim false refunds or compensation from shops. A second concluded that exposure to theories outside of the accepted norm made people more likely to engage in everyday low-level crime in the future.

The Independent says conspiracy theorists “have previously been associated with prejudice, political disengagement and environmental inaction”, but researchers have proven how a greater acceptance and proclivity towards crime is directly linked to an individual’s feeling of a lack of social cohesion or shared values.

Professor Douglas told Phys.org: “Our research has shown for the first time the role that conspiracy theories can play in determining an individual’s attitude to everyday crime. It demonstrates that people subscribing to the view that others have conspired might be more inclined toward unethical actions.”

https://www.theweek.co.uk/99873/con...letter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
25,941
Likes
9,871
Points
284
#12
There's a bit in the new FT that mentions conspiracy theorists are more likely to be poorly educated. But it also points out believing in CTs and fake news is being combined in the general view. Time was, believing in a conspiracy to murder JFK meant you were thinking outside the box. Now that's yesterday's news, and flat earthers rule the CT roost.
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,576
Likes
10,023
Points
279
#15
Or perhaps because they are dim, morally ambivalent people?

maximus otter
Not necessarily mutually exclusive
True dat.

The HEXACO Honesty-Humility trait was used as a predictor in the study, and is a good indication of honestly in general, but the study didn't attempt to correlate 'cognitive ability' with belief in conspiracy theories.

'Politically', anything that uses intelligence as a predictor is frowned upon. How dare anyone suggest we're not all potential Einsteins if only the white patriarchy weren't in charge...proper scientists don't believe such guff, but try getting your paper published if you fall foul of the screaming ninnies.
 
Top