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Why People Fall For Conspiracy Theories

– We’ve shown you a lot of
the weird and wild stuff on the internet, but why do people fall for conspiracy
theories in the first place? (mellow music) Hey guys, welcome to TRACKBACK. Today we’re talking about why people fall for conspiracy
theories, and what you can do if somebody like your Aunt Janet starts to fall down the rabbit hole. More and more conspiracy theories are moving from the fringe
corners of the internet into the mainstream because
technology makes it easier to share and to find these theories. We chatted with Mick West, an
expert in conspiracy theories and the author of Escaping
the Rabbit Hole to learn more about how and why people
fall for conspiracies. – A lot of people get sucked
into conspiracy theories simply because they saw
something on YouTube. And this is something I’ve
come across time and again. I ask them what their origin story was, why did you get into conspiracy theories? And they just say, I
just saw this one video, and it really spoke to me,
and then I saw another video and I saw another video
and I saw another video. – Anybody who’s dealt
with a conspiracy theorist knows it’s incredibly difficult to get them to change their mind. This often has more to do
with someone’s identity rather than the information
being presented. A person’s belief system
is really hard to change. – The belief is something that
overrides everything else. If you present evidence
which contradicts the belief, they’ll just go with the
belief and they’ll figure there must be something
wrong with that evidence. – This is why sending Aunt Janet 30 articles that prove her
wrong isn’t gonna work. Instead, try finding shared values that helps Aunt Janet see
that you’re on the same side and therefore make her
more likely to listen. We know it can be
frustrating to watch someone fall down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole. Believing in conspiracies
can negatively impact your physical health, your finances, your social life, or your mental health. For example, if someone believes in the anti-vaccination conspiracy theory, their kid could suffer
the consequences of that. Or if someone believes that chemtrails are spraying poison from the sky, they might spend way too much
money on bogus detox cures. Conspiracy theories can
also isolate people, as they’re judged or
made fun of by others. So then, what the hell can
you do to help Aunt Janet? – Everybody has this idea
of this kind of spectrum of ridiculous ideas,
and one side’s sensible, one’s on the other side. And they draw a line
somewhere on that spectrum. For example, they might believe
that 9/11 was an inside job but they don’t believe in chemtrails, or they might believe in chemtrails but they don’t believe in the flat Earth. But you gotta find the things
where there’s a bit of doubt, find things where they might
be able to move their line a little bit from one side to the other. – If you’re concerned your
friend or family member may be becoming a conspiracy theorist, there is no quick fix, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. TRACKBACK tip, remember, it’s all about how you present the
information to Aunt Janet. Don’t be aggressive or judgmental or expect it to happen right away. She’s gonna need time to
absorb the information that you’re giving her,
and that could take weeks, months, or even years.

As found on Youtube

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