The Power of Conspiracy Theories
By I. Hoff
A "conspiracy theory" explains an event or set of circumstances. It features a secret plot, usually by powerful conspirators- manipulating the issue which has been publicly presented. Several different theories suddenly appear - some of which are taken seriously whilst others are clearly made up. The assumption that the American government involved in the 9/11 plan in 2001 is a recent and very popular theory. Other bizarre theories include the assumption that Drake killed XXXtentacion due to their conflicting past. This was allegedly confirmed by his song lyrics in “Im Upset”, and finally the theory that the world we live in is a controlled simulation manufactured by a more intelligent species - similar to the idea presented in “The Hunger Games”.
Without a doubt, all these theories are extremely intriguing and thus always leaves the reader with further questions about the matter, especially on how these theories came to life. Researchers have done a considerable amount of work in recent years in an attempt to understand this apparent phenomenon which permeates pop culture. Political scientists Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent reviewed over 120 years of letters to the editor, from 1890 to 2010, for both The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, totalling in about 100,000 letters. The issues sent from the 19th century to the 21st century shows that the percent of letters about conspiracy theories have actually declined. However, technology has permitted us to spread theories instantly without having any intention to do so. A simple message to a friend about your opinion in a global issue or event which contradicts what has been spread through the news, could be considered a conspiracy theory which could go viral on the internet.
We are all surrounded by these ideas, and people struggle to filter what is factually true and what is only a deception. The table presented demonstrates a research performed in the United States in the early century. It shows how insane ideas have become more accepted - consequently opening people’s minds to a greyer area, something which has never been explored before. Overall, conspiracy theories have an immense power over us, forcing us to indirectly defy and question the information which is given to us by the media.
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