This makes me think back to various articles I read in NewScientist and other places (quick example here) about conspiracy theorists and the psychology behind how they operate.
Basically conspiracy theorists are not interested in the truth and free thinking. They never are and never were. They are only interested in controversy and fear in perceived enemies and pursuing their perceived evil. Paranoia comes into play very often, if not downright sadism
They might think they are promoting free thinking, and to be fair, they probably are. But deep down psychologically, their interests are far more selfish.
If the motive is paranoia, the conspiracy theorist creates claims in order to dismiss difficult truth that he/she doesn’t want to face. The moon landing conspiracy or the flat-earth conspiracy is evidence of the lengths that people will go to flag any reason in their mind to disbelieve, regardless of what the actual evidence may be. And this is because of irrational fear of reality
If the motive is malice, then the thrilling prospect of chaos and creating more uproar appeals to them more than any good intention. They may not even realize that either. They have a hateful agenda against something and just want to dig up dirt to try and vindicate their grief.
I remember the Syria videos you showed me trying to pull that stunt with a little “lets start a revolution in america” quip at the end. That told me that the makers were really just using the Syria incident to create more distraught and chaos back at home
In all cases, people get emotional highs from the self-righteous concept that they may be uncovering a great alarming evil. An evil which they revealed it all on their own with their own investigative power (naive of how poor people are at investigating short of actual professionals). From the theorists point of view, they think they are heroes for blowing the whistle on massive cover-ups. It appeals to their own hubris. They’ll pull stunt that on any target just to give themselves that sense of self-righteousness. You know how much people love thinking “IM SO SMART. IM SO WISE. THAT I DOUBT THIS CUZ IT MAKES ME SOUND SMARK AND EDGY. THIS IS FAEK BECAUSE OF THIS ONE THING THAT DOESNT MATCH UP WITH WHAT I THINK IT SHOULD. I TOTALLY KNOW SOMETHING ALL YOU SHEEPLE DIDNT. NO WAY EXPERTS EVER BOTHERED TO LOOK INTO THIS. IM SO UNIQUE AND FREE THINKING. IM SMATTER THAN YOUUUUU”
I believe conspiracy theorists always have agendas shadier than any target. If not for appealing to hubris then it’s always been about fame and fortune. The theorists who created the moon landing hoax and the 9/11 inside job theory both did it for fame, and even got a fortune for it too. Other times it’s for distracting people from real problems towards their own means. They could be schizophrenic or they are just plain stupid and don’t understand the facts so they suspect they are being lied to. Some even do it for fun. Like they are writing a good thriller novel, only they apply it to real life. If trolling is fun, then hoaxing is too.
Whether or not I believe them must always come down to the evidence. I choose to think for myself what that evidence shows. And I’ll take it from numerous sources, especially the experts in the field. Never just one person, let alone a youtube account
You can trust something reported similarly by numerous organisations. You cant trust something reported by one youtuber. Listening to one persons doubt doesn’t make you informed.
Now granted, I don’t dismiss every single conspiracy I hear. One example of a conspiracy I did suspect was the framing of Julian Assange. But that’s because its not a great stretch of probability knowing the UK governments reputation, nor does it have so much stacking against it. Plus if the facts do say he’s guilty or not then I’ll believe it. I’ve nothing to gain from calling BS
But I was one of the first people to stand up and say the Moon landing was totally real against all the hoaxers because I could see how how utterly bullshit the hoax was when you look at the real implications. I love how Cracked summarized it: