[ View the story "What do conspiracy theories say about us?" on Storify] What do conspiracy theories say about us? We examine what perpetuates theories that challenge the official narrative.
The Stream· Tue, Aug 20 2013 11:28:11
Although the internet has increased access to information, recent
says it has given rise to only more speculation and conspiracy theories.
Below is a video of 25 popular conspiracy theories:
The 25 Most Popular Conspiracy Theorieslist25
In an interview with Jesse Walker, author of
The United States of Paranoia, Walker points to how political upheavals help instigate moral panic. Some believe that a lack of transparency and trust in government and media make the public more paranoid:
Where's the line between #conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact? How do govt policies and collusion fuel citizens' paranoia?The Stream
@AJStream The media fuels paranoia posting stories before all the facts are found.WmSan
@AJStream luck of trust and knowledge of wats goin around them wen the enemy isnt clear nd finaly its z easiest way of not thinkingRanda
Are #conspiracy theories a reaction to increased uncertainty in the world? We discuss Tuesday.The Stream
@AJStream A gap of knowledge gives credence to theories. The more secrecy there is the more people will make stuff up to fill the gap.M.Basil.M
According to Lance deHaven-Smith, author of
Conspiracy Theory in America
, the term "conspiracy theory" became widely used by the CIA
to intimidate and defame people questioning
the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. He also says that a number of conspiracy theories have been proven to be true over the years.
We asked the online community about some of the strangest conspiracy theories they have heard:
@ajstream the most disturbing and strange conspiracy theory to me is the Illuminati #Does it really existcbdallataani
@AJStream #conspiracy "Aliens" have been communicating via "channelers" for ages.Nabeel Ashraf Ali
@MrWillBill @AJStream everything is up to interpretation. There is not one honest nd open gvernment in the world. I think we all can agreeGillian Rutkowski
What do you think? Do conspiracy theories need to be taken more seriously? What has been their impact on public discourse? Let us know in the comments.