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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Facebook Conspiracy Theories

Credit: "Know Your Meme"

In the last few posts we noted the views of conspiracy theorist / scammer Peter of England, the seemingly truly insane "Baron" David Ward. We noted previously the action of many other conspiracy theorist 'Freemen' and similar persons, who think there is a massive conspiracy to hide the fact the government has no power to tax them.

Conspiracy theorists can be dangerous: "freemen" like John Paterson, a vile antisemite who thinks everything he dislikes is the fault of the Jews, can (say many groups) engage in terrorism. He is mentioned here not because he is an antisemitic conspiracy theorist per se, but because sued JOHN PATERSON, his government strawman corporation, for 10 billion pounds. As is so often, the belief in one conspiracy (the 'strawman' and 'birth bond' ones) leads to belief in others (here, the perennial favorite 'Jews control the world'). What would Mr. Paterson do with the money, considering that it is all worthless fiat currency, is rather unclear. But at least the Jews won't have it, so that it some consolation.

As you can see, they all use Facebook to spread their beliefs. Why is Facebook (and similar social media) such a haven for conspiracy theorists? The main reason is confirmation bias. As one repeats lies or stories to oneself and only hears the same lies from similarly-minded people, no wonder it becomes a truth in one's eyes, and all contrary evidence is dismissed as "false flag misinformation" and the like.

The Internet and social media did not invent this phenomenon, of course, as every cult in history attests. Conspiracy theory belief is in fact much more prevalent than commonly supposed, with people all across the policial, ethnic, and educational spectrum believing in conspiracies.The difference being more, research shows, in the exact conspiracy believed in, but not in the conspiracy theory mindset itself. But with social media allowing direct "producer to consumer" (so to speak) spread of conspiratorial ideas, people can -- and do -- surround themselves only with those they agree with, those who know THE TRUTH(TM), and literally block out all dissenting information.

No wonder conspiracy theories on social media proliferate.

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