Education Information: Cardiff achieves ‘Champion’ status for gender equality in physics  |  Parent Interventions: Online survey to assess needs of children and young people with cancer   |  Parent Interventions: Study links severe childhood deprivation to difficulties in adulthood  |  Parent Interventions: New study aims to learn the lessons of homeschooling  |  Teacher Insights: Using e-learning to raise biosecurity awareness  |  National Edu News: Science and Technology in finding solutions to combat COVID-19  |  National Edu News: Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme  |  Health Monitor: Beware of Hepatitis D, It can Lead to Hepatocellular Carcinoma  |  Teacher Insights: Education project to understand Birmingham learning at home during COVID-19  |  Education Information: UoG launches new onlines to meet some of the challenges of Covid-19  |  Teacher Insights: Professor Woolfson awarded Humboldt Research Prize  |  Parent Interventions: Parents paying heavy price for lockdown  |  Teacher Insights: Great Science Share brings science investigations into homes  |  Education Information: App will reduce high risk of falls during and after Lockdown  |  Education Information: University of Manchester to decarbonise its investment portfolio  |  
September 12, 2018 Wednesday 03:57:26 PM IST

Social Media can Make or Break Conspiracy Theories

Teacher Insights

A conspiracy theory is a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event. The most famous among them include assassination of John F. Kennedy, 1969 Apollo moon landings and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Recently, the social media has established itself as a conduit for more rapid spread of conspiracy theories.

After a detailed study on the 2015-16 Zika virus outbreak, researchers have concluded that Tweets intended to propagate conspiracy theories were spread through a more decentralized network than those used for debunking messages. The results of the study are published in the journal Cyber psychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

The study also observes that using Twitter to propagate conspiracy theories was more likely to involve the use of rhetorical questions and a greater number of claims with explicit references to authorities, just like in a rumor.

The study also suggests that the public health agencies could use the same social media to help alleviate anxiety and fear in the population by using these same channels to provide more accurate and reassuring messages.