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DW: Democracy of the gullible

07/07/2020

July 3, 2020

Conspiracy theories on the internet

Conspiracy theories are spreading rapidly on the Internet. And they find an audience that believes them. Scientists are studying why people have a tendency to believe nonsense is true.

The Internet has profoundly changed our thinking in less than two decades. No other medium has manipulated human behavior to such an extent. The Internet can be a blessing – but also a curse. Many people give the same weight to unfiltered and unfounded opinions on the Internet as they do to journalistic content that has been checked for its accuracy. Inspired by Gérald Bronner’s bestseller “The Democracy of the Gullible,” the film examines our brains’ natural predisposition to believe in enigmatic conspiracy myths. What criteria and patterns are behind them? And if the brain is so easily influenced, do facts and knowledge stand any chance against blind faith?

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