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Articles on Conspiracy theories

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A woman places painted rocks at a memorial to those killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Why do mass shootings spawn conspiracy theories?

When many people believe the government is trying to take away their guns, events that make guns look bad can be misinterpreted as part of that nonexistent plan.
People who believe aliens have visited Earth are less likely to trust the 2020 election results. Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd/DigitalVision via Getty Images

What belief in extraterrestrial visitors to Earth reveals about trust in elections

Americans who believe aliens have visited Earth are more likely than disbelievers to say that Joe Biden is not the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.
A replica of Noah’s Ark from the biblical tale at the Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky. Lindasj22/Shutterstock

Why creationism bears all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory

An inevitable part of the internet age, some conspiracy theories appear and then fade, but in the US particularly, creationism seems firmly embedded in religion, education and pseudoscience.
Far-right groups like the Proud Boys, seen here marching in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12, are increasingly organizing their activities on messaging services like Telegram. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Far-right groups move to messaging apps as tech companies crack down on extremist social media

Encrypted messaging services like Telegram provide virtual dark corners where far-right extremists can recruit, organize and plan unhindered.
Parler is similar to Twitter but doesn’t control or discourage hate speech or calls to violence. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Image

Big Tech’s rejection of Parler shuts down a site favored by Trump supporters – and used by participants in the US Capitol insurrection

Millions of supporters of Donald Trump flocked to the far-right social media platform, where hate speech and calls for violence thrive. The US Capitol insurrection could be the platform's undoing.
A supporter of President Donald Trump, seen wearing a QAnon shirt, is confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

QAnon and the storm of the U.S. Capitol: The offline effect of online conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories spread online are the backbone of Donald Trump's falsehoods about his loss in the U.S. election. The real world consequences of those conspiracies have now exploded.

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