Links to a few recent conspiracy-oriented stories from around the internet. Unsurprisingly, the major topic of conspiracy theorising over the past few weeks has been the Newtown shooting; conspiracy theories arose immediately after the tragedy and are still gaining strength. We’ve discussed the psychology of these kinds of theories here on the blog too – see these posts by myself, Mike, and Christopher.
- Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy stands by Sandy Hook conspiracy theory, and says 9/11 was a conspiracy, too – ‘…saying in a radio interview today that “crisis actors” may have been used to “embellish” the shooting, just as they did in 9/11.’
- Steve Novella discusses conspiracy theorists harassing the father of a child murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting – ‘“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’”’
- Snopes.com comprehensively debunks several Newtown conspiracy theories – ‘Video documents that the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a staged hoax… The information presented in that video was a mixture of misinformation, innuendo, and subjective interpretation’
- Piers Morgan interviewed Alex Jones about his vocal gun-control conspiracy theorising in the wake of Sandy Hook – Morgan: “How many gun murders were there in Britain last year?” Jones: “How many chimpanzees can dance on a head of a pin?”
- In other news… Survey reports that 25% of Americans believe 9/11 conspiracy theories – ‘64% of Republicans Say Obama ‘Seems kind of Squirrelly’
- A scientist points out that science-denying conspiracy theories give scientists too much credit – ‘Conspiracies DO exist, but vast global ones are less likely. Especially if you include scientists. Chances are we won’t play along.’
- A newly published study by Dan Jolley and Karen Douglas looks at the consequences of conspiracism – ‘…exposure to information supporting the [climate change] conspiracy theories reduced participants’ intentions to reduce their carbon footprint’
Have I missed a good story? Let me know in the comments.