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Articles on Conspiracy theories

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People pray at the scene of the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 15, 2022. Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Replacement theory isn’t new – 3 things to know about how this once-fringe conspiracy has become more mainstream

The Buffalo mass shooting reignited discussion of replacement theory. This conspiracy isn’t new, but understanding its roots is helpful to understand its connection to extremism.
A military vehicle destroyed on Feb. 18, 2022, by an explosion in Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian separatists. Nikolai Trishin\TASS via Getty Images

What are false flag attacks – and did Russia stage any to claim justification for invading Ukraine?

Attacking your own side and blaming your foe has a long history and a firm grip on the popular imagination. But the internet makes it difficult to pull off – and less desirable.
The Russian and Ukrainian governments both blamed forces aligned with the other for mortar fire in eastern Ukraine and for using the accusations as justification for increased aggression. AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

What are false flag attacks – and could Russia make one work in the information age?

Attacking your own side and blaming your foe has a long history and a firm grip on the popular imagination. But the internet makes it difficult to pull off – and less desirable.
Security fences stand near the U.S. Capitol on January 5, 2022. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How democracy gets eroded – lessons from a Nixon expert

The January 6, 2021, Capitol riot happened a year ago. But the attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power was just one part of a larger, and more long-term, attempt to undo US democracy.
Lights from police vehicles illuminate Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., in the evening following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Why it’s grim, but unsurprising, that the U.S. Capitol attack looked like it was out of a ‘zombie movie’

The popularity of zombie apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives has emerged from some of the same economic and cultural currents that gave rise to Trump’s presidency.
Rioters are tear-gassed as they storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

American support for conspiracy theories and armed rebellion isn’t new – we just didn’t believe it before the Capitol insurrection

Almost eight years before the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, nearly one-third of Americans surveyed – and 44% of Republicans – said armed rebellion might soon be necessary in the US to protect liberties.
The legacy of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012 continues to reverberate nine years later, including in how conspiracy theories have changed since the tragedy. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP via Getty Images

How conspiracy theories in the US became more personal, more cruel and more mainstream after the Sandy Hook shootings

The Sandy Hook school shooting continues to reverberate in the US nine years later, marking a new age of misinformation.

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