Group 5 // Section 1 // 11:00 a.m. // Conspiracy Theories

Panel: Ivy, Erica, Joanna

Readings:

https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/blog/conspiracy-theory-vs-free-speech-should-we-regulat/

https://theconversation.com/conspiracy-theories-fuel-prejudice-towards-minority-groups-113508

Online Discussion Questions:

Q1: Have you ever heard any conspiracy theories?

Q2: In recent news politicians have been accused of using conspiracy theories to manipulate the public. What has been your experience with news sources using conspiracy theories to manipulate public opinion?

Q3: Do you think something should be done about the spread of conspiracy theories?

In Class Discussion Questions:

Q1: How do conspiracy theories help fuel prejudice towards minority groups?

Q2: Should conspiracy theories be regulated online? If so, how should online sources implement regulations to compact conspiracy theories?

Q3: Do you think that some conspiracy theories are geared towards a particular group of minorities? If so, what are some ramifications of such theories?

Counter technology:
https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2018/four-major-tech-companies-take-new-steps-to-combat-fake-news/

Group 2 // Section 2 // 3:30 p.m. // Conspiracy Theories

Panel Members: Brooke, Cat, Courtney, and Kim

Discussion Questions:

  • After the worst mass shooting in American history in Las Vegas, Brian Hodge has been accused of meeting up with the shooter or ISIS members, having affiliations with the shooter, hiding in the bushes near the concert, any many other accusations. Hodge has received death threats, suffered paranoia, and remains a suspect in many American citizens eyes. How did the idea of Hodge’s involvement become so widespread? Even if proven innocent, are some people likely to remain suspicious if his involvement is now a conspiracy theory?
  • Our second article dives into three basic needs that humans have that may drive why we believe in conspiracy theories. Do you agree with these? If not, do you think there is some kind of other deep rooted issue in humans that cause the need and ultimately the satisfaction one might feel when following/believing a conspiracy theory?

Readings:

Counter-Technology: Metabunk.org

American Culture & Post-Truth: Conspiracies

One student/one question

Open your “one student/one question” Google Doc and write down one thing that is lingering from Anderson’s “How America Lost Its Mind” which you read for today. Again, this can be a striking detail, question, a response, an objection, a passionate agreement, anything that is sticking with you after the reading. Once you are finished paste it into this document.

Continue reading “American Culture & Post-Truth: Conspiracies”