Definition of conspiracy theory
Conspiracy theories are false narratives that prey upon fears – real or perceived. They are substantiated by fallacies – unsound reasoning that in fact proves nothing. They are most effectively spread and amplified by social media.
The great human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic gave momentum to various wild narratives, spread by anti-establishment movements that have all the hallmarks of religious sects.
Conspiracy theories spread faster than the coronavirus.
Why Conspiracy Theories Matter
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Planted conspiracy theories can have serious security implications when they are aimed at polarization. A divided country is a weaker country.
This type of false, disruptive narratives should therefore be seen and treated as weapons of war. Spreading them is act of information warfare.
We can see the destructive effect of conspiracy theories all around us: false and disorienting narratives are ripping apart the social fabric of society, splitting families, antagonizing long-time friends.
As yet, this is a largely unregulated sphere – anyone can wield that very destructive weapon without serious repercussions.
Always check the source of your information and, more importantly, who is financing the spread of that information. You may be advancing someone else’s agenda without realizing it.
So who is paying for that flyer or the free newspaper in your mailbox? If it’s not transparant, you may be the target of propaganda.
See: fallacies, memetic engineering, pseudoscience and propaganda.
Conspiracy theories & Fallacies
Logical fallacies are fake or deceptive arguments. In other words, the reasoning is flawed. These arguments seem irrefutable, but prove nothing. They are commonly used in conspiracy theories.
Fallacious arguments may be used knowingly, on purpose, but more often than not people seem to be unaware of the logical errors that have seeped into a narrative. That is why conspiracy theories are so hard to counter. There is no logic to them and unsound reasoning makes a rational argument impossible.