In an age of awareness the world has never seen before, it’s no surprise that people consume information from any number of random sources, with little evidence that the information presented is truthful. This will explore the “Pipeline” many people flow down when consuming their media.
The rampancy of conspiracy theories being presented as actual news is astounding, and the majority of people don’t even go looking for this information. Sites like Facebook and Youtube can lead people to very strange places on the internet, and this is how many people start to believe unfounded, crazy conspiracies.
A common thread found in people who sporadically became sucked into QAnon was a documentary called, “Out of Shadows” which claimed widespread media manipulation. This media manipulation undoubtedly exists and ironically the ones who watch this documentary and believe it were being manipulated by the media themselves.
For context, QAnon is known as a right-leaning conspiracy group whose core beliefs center around the idea that the last election was faked, and that Former President Trump will be reinstated as president on a “day of reckoning.” Accompanying these ideas is the belief that many of Hollywood’s elite are controlling the major media sources and brainwashing the masses.
With this background it’s easy to see how many people, upset with Former President Trump’s loss to President Biden, could be sucked into believing outlandish theories that justify their own denial about the election. Many experts studying this have agreed on one common thread between believers, people are looking for something to fill a hole in their lives.
A recent poll done by the Public Religious Research Institute found that as many as 1 in 5 Americans believes in some of the tenets of QAnon. Professor Karen Douglas, a social psychologist at the University of Kent said this:
“People are looking for explanations that help them cope with difficult situations when there is a lot of uncertainty and contradictory information. They might also be looking for simple answers that make them feel better, and conspiracy theories might seem to offer those simple answers.”
Of course, there’s already a lot wrong with believing outlandish conspiracies, but the danger skyrockets when the claims made by the group are as dangerous as the ones QAnon holds. Several riots have been incited by QAnon believers, one example being the January 6th insurrection at the Capital. And riots aren’t even the worst of it.
Another lie peddled out by this group is the assertion that the Covid Vaccine has trackers in it used by the government to find out personal information. This has stopped many from being vaccinated, and has gotten many killed.
Aside from many not getting vaccinated, there have been some talking about a cure called Ivermectin. In reality,ora Ivermectin is a medication given to horses to ward off parasites and warts. It cannot treat Covid, and the lie that it can has killed dozens of believers.
Dangerous conspiracies are reaching wider and wider audiences, and many families have been torn apart by beliefs like these. People need to know the objective truth of these matters before more damage is wrought.