Are We All Just Sleeping Sheep - Conspiracy Theories in Times of Corona

The hygiene demonstrations show the real effects of the false reports and conspiracy narratives about COVID-19 that have been circulating virtually for months. By now, at the latest, it should be clear that conspiracy ideologies not only have their effect on the net, but also represent a real problem for society as a whole. klicksafe has produced a new info pack on the topic of conspiracy theories. In addition, we spoke in detail with social psychologist Pia Lamberty in an interview about the background of conspiracy narratives and the current situation.

For months, we have been receiving a flood of new information about the Corona pandemic through all media channels. However, this is not always verified news from reputable sources. In this time, which for many is characterized by uncertainty, the feeling of loss of control and personal existential fears, conspiracy ideological texts, images and videos are particularly appealing and reach hundreds of thousands of people within a very short time. It becomes problematic when users do not check the sources and believe the content, hoping to find answers to the big questions: Is the virus really that dangerous? Are all the measures necessary? Isn't there something else behind it all?

Since the beginning, the crisis situation has attracted conspiracy believers. Moreover, political actors use conspiracy narratives to exploit this uncertainty for their own purposes. Especially on social media, via YouTube and messenger services like Telegram and WhatsApp, they spread coronavirus falsehoods related to conspiracy ideologies. Often, private individuals share this content, but increasingly, well-known German personalities, such as Xavier Naidoo or Atilla Hildmann, are also mingling with the spreaders and disseminators of conspiracy narratives.

Not every critical post or article is a conspiracy theory. Here it is important to distinguish: What is legitimate criticism that can make an important contribution to social discourse? What are targeted false reports and conspiracy narratives?

A critical approach to information and sources is an essential core competence in the digital age, regardless of age. Being able to inform oneself competently and to deal with different points of view is an important component of strong opinion-forming skills.

klicksafe provides detailed information on this topic in the new Topic Conspiracy Theories with expert videos, information, tips and working materials.

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