Disinfo: Conspiracy theories are useful for human societies

Summary

Conspiracy theories quickly give a fallacious explanation of a reality that can be stressful and traumatic. Thinking that a small group of people caused all catastrophes helps people and human groups to cope with this trauma, overcome their stress, accept the situation and adapt to the new reality.

Therefore, it can be concluded that conspiracy theories are useful even if this contradicts the way they are usually presented. Conspiracy theories brings more good than bad.

Disproof

This case is an example of how a harmful disinformation claim can be mendaciously disguised as an "opinion". The argument that conspiracy theories bring more good than bad, especially in context of the present pandemic, flies in the face of reality. Extensive research and analysis details the dangerous consequences of belief in conspiracy theories, including the negative impact they may have on public health. This claim is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation effort to legitimise conspiracy theories.

While it is true that conspiracy theories can provide convenient explanations of a reality that's stressful and traumatic, it is false and irresponsible to suggest that they play a positive role in helping accept reality or adapt to a new situation. In his book The Opium of Fools, Rudy Reichstadt denounces the excessive indulgence intellectual circles have towards conspiracy theories. Reichstadt argues that conspiracy theories do not constitute psychological help to cope with traumas; while faith helps, incorrect knowledge does not. Furthermore, in crisis situations, the spread of conspiracy theories can seriously jeopardize public health.

Conspiracy theories are based on denial of reality (e.g., the fake moon landing narratives, flat earth theories, 9/11 trutherism, theories about 5G causing the coronavirus...) and can have very dangerous consequences, for example if they lead people to refuse vaccination or attack essential infrastructure.The recent spread of Bill Gates anti-vaccination conspiracy theories also represents a real danger.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, Conspiracy
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Bloomberg fakes Putin’s approval numbers

The US news agency Bloomberg has reported, citing figures by the Russian state pollster VTsIOM, that Putin’s rating dropped to a record low of 27 percent in April as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the national economy.

The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the report, showing that the real figures provided by VTsIOM (67-8%), which Bloomberg claimed to cite, were altered in the report.

“The editors of Bloomberg continue to show complete disrespect for its readers. They probably hope that their audience will not check Russian sources and find a real WCIOM data”, the Russian Embassy in the United States said on Twitter.

Disproof

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative which casts Western media as biased against Russia. Under this narrative, outlets such as Bloomberg will not hesitate to report bogus statistics for the sake of impressing their Russophobic prejudices on unsuspecting readers.

VTsIOM's statistics on public trust in politicians are based on two different survey questions, which in turn produce two different percentages.

Sanctions against Russia are ineffective

Sanctions against Russia are ineffective, not only did they fail to improve the situation in Ukraine, but also failed to influence the policy of Vladimir Putin. They only lead to the degradation of trust in Europe of our relation with the Russian partner.

There is now a  very important problem: the pandemic of Coronavirus. Europe should investigate the origin of the virus instead of extending the sanctions every six months, it would re-establish trust and trade within Europe with the Russians.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative about the  sanctions against Russia claiming they are useless and counterproductive. An additional element is added about the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

The EU sanctions were introduced as a political response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilization of Ukraine. The introduction, extension or possible removal of the EU restrictive measures is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus – just a pretext for reducing population growth, then reducing the population

This special project or special operation – COVID-19 – will allow you to kill several birds with one stone.
The coronavirus is just a pretext for reducing population growth, then reducing the population. The optimal number for them is 1 billion people. As a result, it has certain purposes: to reduce the population through universal vaccination, to ensure the digitalisation of society or the completion of a concentration camp for electronic banks, etc.

Disproof

A conspiracy theory about the coronavirus pandemic sharing a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling the world. Several conspiracy theories are presented, including that COVID-19 is an infection caused by the world's elites, in order to reduce the population through vaccination.

There is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, acknowledging that the virus had become a global phenomenon. Before that date, the situation was being described as an epidemic, illustrating that the virus had already spread to many people, and many communities, at the same time.