Normal people often the source of conspiracy theories

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MYSTERY WIRE — If you are looking for conspiracy theories, you don’t have to go much farther than Reddit. But new research indicates that your garden-variety conspiracy theory usually comes from people who are very ordinary.

Researchers from The Australian National University sifted through more than 2 billion comments posted on Reddit, and every single post to the subreddit r/conspiracy. Their research is detailed at phys.org: “Study shows there’s nothing wacky about conspiracy theorists.

Among the findings:

  • The Internet is an inviting place to seek out sympathetic communities — people who think the same way you do.
  • Conspiracy theories are often rooted in reality. “… People might believe false things, but with good reason — because similar things have happened in the past,” according to Dr. Colin Klein, lead author of the study.
  • Conspiracy theorists are not as hyper-focused as they might appear, with diverse, “sensible” interests.

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