Conspiracy Theory | Are we safe in this information age? Our click can transmit information thousands of miles away. Which can encroach the global peace. Social media has become an arena of propaganda warfare. Studies confirm that we are contributing to this invasion of global peace. So, think before you share.

Conspiracy Theory | How To Counter It?
Conspiracy Theory | How To Counter It?

What Is a Conspiracy Theory? Its Characteristics:

  • Conspiracy theory is characterized as an evil plot of powerful people who aim to harm the public.
  • It is a political victimization tool, hence depicted as a big secret concealed from the public.
  • It spreads disinformation warfare and propaganda, results in tragic events, widespread curios, and panic, causing threats to the intended target. While effects act as a catalyst for the growth of conspiracies.
  • Theories lack genuine pieces of evidence which do not hinder its spread instead become a logic for the followers.

Purpose Of Assembling:

People who do not believe but believe in their ideologies are the chief producers of these theories; they mold the facts and scientific findings to their advantage.

Defamation of opposite ideologies and leaders is a key reason for their creation. Theorists have a hand on the pulse of time; they arrange the events in a viable way to create illusions, which becomes very appealing to a layperson but carries no weight for a logical person.

The assembling type of theory depends upon the geography and the situation of the target. If a political leader is made to have covert connections with the so-called enemies’ ideology, that will harm his following in the public. For example, depiction as a communist in a democratic state or as a capitalist in a communist community causes damage to the reputation of the victim. Likewise, in Islamic countries, advertising a person as the CIA or Jewish agent will cause widespread hatred in the community against that person in Pakistan.

Consequences Of Conspiracy Theories

In history, many dictators used different conspiracy theories to crush their opponents. Terror attackers (McVeigh, Anders Breivik, and so-called Muslim terrorists), Nazis, Soviet Union, and Turkey use conspiracy theories to excuse their actions. Rumors about the stolen-USA-election cause the Capital Hill riot, which led to the death of 5 people. Likewise, the Modi-government policies to defame Muslims through ‘Love Jihad’ conspiracy bring Hindu and Muslim communities face-to-face.

Conspiracy theories are not limited to politics only. Theorists have also spoiled the health sector. In the effect of conspiracy theories, South Africa denied AIDS in their country, resulting in the death of 330,000 people from AIDS. In this pandemic, vaccine hesitancy has also increased, a threat to public health in 2021. These theories have reduced the trust of people in scientific findings. In 2002, a famine struck Zambia that threatened the lives of 14 million people. But the country rejected the aid because of rumors of genetically modified food would harm public health. With time, these theories become the subject of faith, not merely a statement that can be proved or disproved.

What Type Of People Believe In Conspiracies? And Why?

More or less, all of us believe in conspiracies. Perhaps we have become more tribal than we think. We cannot digest the victory of a rival. Besides, human nature hates the idea of unknowing and tends to resolve all the matters, right or wrong. Dis-satisfaction with generally available information is an additional factor.

People who see things sharply as right or wrong; do not believe in different shades of actions are the prime targets of theories. Narcissistic behavior is a major reason for the spread of theories as this fulfills most of the narcissists’ thirsts. So, they think this will inspire people, which will endow them with somewhat special status in society. In this way, they tempt their taste buds of self-importance.

Conspiracy theories are not established in a vacuum. Historical tussles, distrust, and skepticism among communities are major growth factors. The black and the white cynicism, African-European wariness, hatred against Jews will be the fundamental elements of theories. Because it all depend upon the geographical areas of the world.

It is already mentioned how the theorists connect very irrelevant events viably, paving the way for people to trust. Additionally, people love to blame others for their failures. It is tougher to control climate changes or currency rates through hard work than to blame Rothschild (or Jews). Moreover, it gives relief to the inner hatred of people.

How Does It Spread?

Print media, TV networks play the role, but social media is the principal carrier for them. Confirmation of the theory by a public personality becomes a tremendous force for its spread. The fake audio of the President of Ghana released on social media was a breakthrough for conspiracy theories about COVID-19.

How To Counter Conspiracy Theory?

  • It is difficult to disprove the theory, as anyone who tries to deny it is portrayed as a part of the conspiracy.
  • The first step to counter conspiracy theories is their identification. Anyone who has political sense and a logical approach can easily judge them. So, check the source of information and its credibility.
  • Stop its spread through social media and person-to-person.
  • Believers of conspiracies do not have ill intentions, so an empathetic approach to believers may persuade them.
  • As they are trying to find the truth, make them believe you are also a researcher, and then elaborate the fact with an engaging tone.
  • Increase hunger of people for research.
  • The debate in a friendly environment can work.
  • So, we have to follow these instructions to stop its spread; otherwise, it may lead to catastrophic results.

Author: Rtr. Muhammad Islam
Club: Rotaract Club of University of Agriculture Faisalabad
RID#3272

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