Articles on Conspiracy theories

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Chris Froome (in the black jacket) of cycling team Ineos recently had a horrific crash while attempting to blow his nose while riding. Peter Powell / AAP

Sport is full of conspiracy theories – Chris Froome’s horrific cycling crash is just the latest example

Conspiracy theories help sports fans make sense of unexpected events – like when a whole rugby team becomes sick before a world cup final, or the retirement of Michael Jordan from basketball.
One of the more destructive conspiracy theories paints Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros as the puppet master of a vast left-wing and globalist elite. (AP Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Scapegoating George Soros: How media-savvy far-right activists spread lies

Media-savvy, far right-wing activists in the U.S., Hungary and Poland spread white nationalist politics using paranoid Soros conspiracy theories. This new global extremism is coming to Canada.
A man holding a Q sign, a reference to a conspiracy theory group, waits to enter a campaign rally with President Trump, Aug. 2, 2018, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. AP/Matt Rourke

Something’s going on here: Building a comprehensive profile of conspiracy thinkers

Some people are habitual conspiracy thinkers – there’s a plan behind everything, and it’s usually malevolent. One scientist set out to understand who is likely to ascribe to these theories.
Jeremy Renner as US journalist Gary Webb in the 2014 film Kill The Messenger. The film is an account of Webb’s role in uncovering CIA links to cocaine importation to the US. Sierra / Affinity,Bluegrass Films,The Combine

In defence of conspiracy theories (and why the term is a misnomer)

Ever since the philosopher Karl Popper popularised the expression in the 1950s, conspiracy theories have had a bad reputation. But is it justified?
John F. Kennedy’s assassination shocked the world in the 1960s and arguably played a part in the rise of Donald Trump today. Abbie Rowe/AAP

World politics explainer: the assassination of John F. Kennedy

The reverberations of JFK's assassination can still be felt to this day in the paranoid and racialised politics of the American right
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.

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