1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Fascinating article on Vice, about a German woman who got sucked into conspiracy thinking, then with the help of a friend, managed to get out:

    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/arti...aving-the-world-of-online-conspiracy-theories

    Here perception was that it was something like a cult, at least in the forums she frequented.
     
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  2. tinkertailor

    tinkertailor Active Member

    I love how this highlights the effect that one person who has seen the light can guide others. It's easy for believers to see someone online like Mick or Neil DeGrass Tyson or literally anyone who argues against the big conspiracy and dismiss their input. For all a true believer cares to know, the average Metabunk user could be a cackling shill with a solid gold money clip pinching inch-thick stacks of corrupt Benjamins. The believer sees an icon and a debunk but is blind to the person behind the screen.

    I mean, Metabunk users and the debunking community at large live normally mundane lives. They deal with with mortgages, mid-week Costco runs, tax returns, minivans, budgets, in-laws, chihuahuas, boxed wine, Zoloft, everything that the "average" person has to deal with in day-to-day life. It's almost like this reverse Occam's Razor comes up where believers look at the 'evidence' from Alex Jones and AE911 and their brethren and then at the comparatively meager evidence given by the one single debunker and think 'well, either all these theories that are so clearly true about these covert operations are wrong, and therefore I am wrong, or this guy on the internet is in on it'.

    But when a CT peer sees the light, it's different. The perspective is the same, the enlightened one knows how it is and can more readily help and the believer has a trusted person to guide them. It's great, so positive and optimistic. It's the reason I love the rabbit hole forum so much and Metabunk in general. Just perfect. :)
     
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  3. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    I thought this was an interesting insight:

     
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  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I think there's more overlap there than is suggested. The chemtrailer believers also think there's a scientific scandal, with all the scientists being complicit in the cover up - ether part of the cabal, or ignoring chemtrails because they feel it would be bad for their career to speak up, or simply coerced into not speaking.

    The Flat Earth believers also "see themselves facing a conspiracy of gigantic dimensions". They have the same problem with the scientists, and obviously the government.

    I would agree though that there's far more perceived threat from the chemtrail theory. One simply has a read some of Dane Wiginton's post to see that. Example:
    http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/death-by-ecocide/
     
  5. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    I coincidentally followed this woman's development on a German forum (allmystery). She was in deep, believed in the most absurd claims and came up with the most unreasonable responses. Then, a few months later, you would see her commenting sceptically about chemtrails, and showing more and more that she actually read about the science behind contrails. It goes to show that debunking can work The tone on that forum can often be a little harsh, with her, it seemed to have worked, but she also had her friend, which may have been the bigger influence.

    Unfortunately, as the vice article shows, she's not out of the whole thing yet. I would even say, she is in just as deep, and in a weird way. Very committed, denigrating conspiracy theorists, giving of a vibe of "I know things better than them". She has a whole facebook page which supposedly aims at informing people about the dangers of conspiracy theories, but actually does little more than post screenshots the most absurd CT comments for everyone's amusement.