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A Texas man who was charged for threatening to blow up an Amazon data center in Virginia was apolitical until he lost his job and had plenty of time to research nefarious political conspiracies, federal authorities said. Psychology experts offer several suggestions for talking to friends and family who believe conspiracy theories about COVID QAnon seems to be everywhere: its conspiracy theories are spreading on social media, its supporters are visible at Trump rallies, and, increasingly, its talking points are even getting repeated by politicians and people in government.


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She mentioned to some other friends that she'd be talking to a reporter for a story about people that believe in conspiracy theories. This summer, I found myself dealing with a conspiracy theorist myself. I noticed a friend on Facebook posting about the pandemic, calling it a hoax. And it can be the first and probably the most major step in changing a mind," Basu said.

Joe Uscinski is a political scientist at the University of Miami who studies conspiracy theories. I don't even need to panic,'" Fournier said. She says when her aunt brings things up like this, she usually ends up diverting the conversation.

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But still, she worries. You wonder, Do I say something?

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How this all played out pretty much lines up with what Tanya Basu told me - be kind, speak in private, ask questions, and point folks in the right direction so they can figure it out for themselves. Conspiracy theories aren't a new phenomenon.

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Essentially, what Basu learned from all her digging was, above all, be respectful in these conversations, which might seem obvious. Related Program:.

Some qanon followers lose hope after inauguration

He says the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory started with a person who claimed in an anonymous chat room they were "helping Trump battle the deep state, which is comprised supposedly of satanic sex trafficking pedophiles and baby eaters. But what makes QAnon different, Uscinski says, is that it doesn't focus on one event in the past. This can lead to some deeply entrenched and dangerous views - like the ones Jenny Fournier deals with with her aunt.

Is there any convincing them otherwise? Fake news and misinformation about the pandemic run rampant these days.

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Copyright Wyoming Public Radio. So when Hannah got home, "I googled it and quickly was like, 'Oh, wow, this is like really not credible.

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She said yes, as long as we didn't use her last name. One of the culprits is the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns more than a dozen popular television stations across the Mountain West.

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Share Tweet. This story was powered by America Amplifieda public radio initiative. I reached out to another conspiracy believing friend of mine, Hannah.

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She'd ly told me she believed in at least one. Mountain West News Bureau.

Tips for talking to the conspiracy theorist in your life

And she suggests trying to find common ground, because she says there's often a tidbit of truth or small fact to most conspiracy theories. Basu says it's important to have a one-on-one conversation privately, instead of somewhere public like on a comment thread.

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Listen Listening Here's a scenario you may have found yourself in recently: You open up Facebook or Twitter, and someone you know is posting about a conspiracy theory. It's more of a worldview.

'no plan, no q, nothing': qanon followers reel as biden inaugurated

Fournier lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. So I thought I'd give these tools a try for myself. I asked her if she'd be willing to talk to me about this on tape.

In reporting the piece, which was published in July, Basu turned to the experts, and also spent time with an internet community on Reddit called " Change My View. But then something interesting happened.

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She says one of those friends, very politely and in private, asked her some follow-up questions. So she thinks that they, like, use satellites and, like, vibrations to the center of the earth to cause that tsunami to, like, get rid of a mass amount of people. She encouraged her to do a little bit more research and even suggested some possible sources.