Believe in conspiracy theories

conspiracy theories

Conspiracy means that people come together in secret. These people are called conspirators. You want to achieve a common goal. But the goal often harms other people. That's why the conspirators keep it a secret. A conspiracy theory is a guess about such a conspiracy.

In a conspiracy theory there are guesses and deliberations as to how something could have happened. They are conjectures about what a group of conspirators might have been secretly doing or planning.

The people who believe in a conspiracy theory are also called conspiracy theorists.

For example, there is a well-known conspiracy theory about the first moon landing that says:
The first landing on the moon did not take place. The filming of the moon landing was made in a film studio. But that's wrong. There are satellite images showing the landing sites of the astronauts. You can also see materials that were left behind on landing.

A conspiracy theory mixes reality and fabricated facts. Such theories can spread quickly on the Internet. Then it is often difficult to know:
What is really true?
What was invented?
You can find more on this topic in the article “Fake News”.
In the corona crisis, news about the virus also spreads very quickly. But not all news is true. (& copy Pexels)

How can you spot conspiracy theories?

Conspiracy theorists ask:
Whom was something good for?
When they find someone, they believe that it is their fault. Conspiracy theorists think: Those who benefit from a crisis must be to blame for the crisis. They say: These people are bad and want to harm others.

In reality, however, it is often not possible to clearly distinguish between good and bad. Many things have both good and bad sides at the same time. A decision can benefit some people and harm others.
Conspiracy theorists ignore this. They just differentiate between good and bad. Conspiracy theorists say:
• There are conspirators who are evil.
• There are sacrifices who are good.
So conspiracy theories simplify difficult questions.

Most conspiracy theories have these three characteristics:

1. Nothing happens by chance, everything has been planned
A group of conspirators act in secret.
2. Nothing is what it seems
You only know what is really going on when you recognize the secret group. This group planned everything. When problems arise and questions are asked, conspiracy theorists respond similarly. They say there is a secret plot behind this by the conspirators.
3. Everything is connected
Institutions and people work together that one would never have thought of.

Some conspiracy theories are safe:
Those who do not believe in the moon landing do not endanger their surroundings.

Other conspiracy theories can be frightening.
For example, they make fear of the suspected group of conspirators or the end of the world. These conspiracy theories then harm the people who believe in them.

Some conspiracy theories are dangerous to many people.
For example, some people are against vaccination. Conspiracy theorists, for example, propose the false theory that vaccination causes autism. If people believe this theory, they may stop vaccinating their children. Then dangerous diseases can spread faster.

People are quicker to believe in conspiracy theories when they are poor at dealing with uncertainty. The theories then give them security.

There are many conspiracy theories, especially in times of crisis. That is why there are, for example, many conspiracy theories surrounding the corona crisis.
More information can be found in the article "The coronavirus and conspiracy theories"

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