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Conspiracy theories: why are they thriving in the pandemic?

By Rod Dacombe, Director of the Centre for British Politics and Government, King's College London
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We’ve all seen them. Those posts shared by friends of friends on Facebook, that jaw-dropping tweet you can scarcely believe was not immediately deleted. Alongside social distancing and Zoom meetings, it seems that one inescapable symptom of the pandemic is the proliferation of conspiracy theories on social media.

Conspiracy theories are distinct from other forms of misinformation and falsehood. They are particular ways in which we make sense of the complex and sometimes disturbing world around us. They have also long been seen as a particularly political phenomenon. The American historian…


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