Articles on Conspiracy theories

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Funeral services took place for Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, one of the students killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, while a hearse with another shooting victim drives by. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Falsehoods, Sandy Hook and suing Alex Jones

Family members of Sandy Hook victims sued media personality Alex Jones over his claims that the killings were a hoax they participated in. Current law makes their lawsuit unnecessarily hard to prove.
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) in The X-Files is fond of joining seemingly unrelated dots to create a conspiracy theory – but in reality, the picture is more nuanced.

Online conspiracy theorists are more diverse (and ordinary) than most assume

Conspiracy theorists are commonly seen as fundamentally irrational, with an all-encompassing obsession. But new research suggests they may have quite different motivations, beliefs and attitudes.
Edward Jenner, who pioneered vaccination, and two colleagues (right) seeing off three anti-vaccination opponents, with the dead lying at their feet (1808). I Cruikshank/Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons

A short history of vaccine objection, vaccine cults and conspiracy theories

Some people have objected to childhood vaccination since it was introduced in the late 1700s. And their reasons sound remarkably familiar to those of anti-vaxxers today.
Activists form a red ribbon, the symbol of the worldwide campaign against AIDS in Russia, 2010. Vladimir Konstantinov/Reuters

How AIDS denialism spreads in Russia through online social networks

In Russia, social networks have given a new life to the conspiracy theory that HIV-AIDS is a global hoax.
Gurneys to remove bodies from the Heaven’s Gate cult house in San Diego, California, March 27, 1997. AP Photo

What the Heaven’s Gate suicides say about American culture

Twenty years ago, the paranoia that consumed cults like Heaven's Gate existed on the margins of American society. Now it's moved toward the center of the nation's political life.
This man needs to trust you before listening to your public health message. No wonder bombarding him with facts doesn’t always work. from www.shutterstock.com

How to cut through when talking to anti-vaxxers and anti-fluoriders

Reassuring people "not to worry" about public health issues like vaccination or fluoridated water doesn't work. Nor does telling people "don't panic". So, what does?

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