The conspiracy theory pandemic is a massive species-level problem, as if we needed another one. I’m surprised I don’t see this covered more urgently by trustworthy media.

@pettter naming specific plays into the hands of the anti-mainstream-media conspiracists, but how about “reporters at established media organisations with a track record of accuracy and integrity”.

@Floppy Being specific plays into vague conspiracy theories? I don't agree.

Also, to be clear, there have been a bunch of folks potentially matching that description who have looked into conspiracism. "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" comes to mind, and that was published in 1964. Also various essays and books on fascism.

As for a more global look, the main thing to remember is that it is primarily (not exclusively) an American phenomenon on export, as young earth creationism etc. is.


@Floppy Personally, I think the solution is to spread more knowledge about structural factors and capitalism, but that is, lets say, highly discouraged by many who both benefit and hold power in the current system.

Identifying a few problems and misattributing the cause (and inventing new problems from whole cloth) is part and parcel of conspiracist thinking.

@pettter I agree, but if I mentioned, say, the BBC, my mentions might devolve into “the BBC is biased” from both directions.

There is a lot out there to find, yes, but not mass audience reporting. My mum knows nothing about this stuff, for instance. And while it’s worse in the US, it’s certainly happening all over. COVID denial is strong all over the world, helped on by a number of misinformation pushers.

@Floppy @pettter

but will such a coverage by "trustworthy media" get its message across to the anti-mainstream-media conspiracists? I would guess at "no", as what one person calls trustworthy another calls "fake news". And then it would turn in to a preaching to the choir moment, no?

Also, as I am interested in the phenomenon of conspiracy theories and their rise myself (not following them, but reading/learning about them etc) I think there actually is some coverage out there, from sources I mainly "trust", and by most are considered "not-overly-biased" (to remove that factor from it too).

It is an interesting dilemma for sure, I'm not trying to kill the debate/argument, more to voice/test my own thoughts on it.

@mathias @pettter no, you won’t convert anyone, but I think that the general public doesn’t realise this crisis even exists. They see video of people in COVID wards refusing treatment on Facebook, but they don’t get mass-audience reporting on how people are being radicalised by misinformation.

I kind of agree, but I'm a bit conflicted. I don't want my news source to be trying to change my mind. I want them to try and inform me (this is why I pay for my news, it keeps the motivations more clear).
So although I don't mind news involving the conspiracists, I would prefer if it stayed firmly on the side of reporting it in the context of news. Which is pretty much what they do now. Maybe they could do it a bit more, kind of matching the climate crisis reporting.

@uglyhack yeah I think that’s what I mean. Reporting on the impact of the problem, exactly along the lines of climate crisis as you say.


people don't trust most media for good and bad reasons. we need to reverse that trend with standards and funding models most people can agree on.

@Floppy all theories are welcome to help hide the oppressive reality in plain sight.

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