Conspiracy Theories

When researchers trolled conspiracy theorists with random false info, they bought it every time

According to a February, 2015 study, conspiracy theorists are so gullible, they completely lack the ability to know when they’re being purposefully duped.

Looking at the social media habits of people who subscribe to conspiracy theories regarding “chemtrails,” 9/11 trutherism, reptilians and the Illuminati, a team of Italian and American researchers found that these people rarely engage with social media pages that challenge their views, therefore encapsulating themselves in a self-affirming bubble of misinformation.

Social media, primarily Facebook, proved to be the flashpoint of this phenomenon since it perpetuates misinformation and allows it to be shared and amplified at a rate not seen before the rise of the Internet.

After examining the social media habits of 1.2 million Facebook users, the researchers found that almost 92 percent of those who engage with Italian conspiracy theory pages get their information primarily from these pages, with almost zero counterbalance from more mainstream, fact-based sources.

The study also found that posts from conspiracy pages get unusually high engagement rates on Facebook in the form of likes and shares.

The researchers then tested the strength of the conspiracy theorists’ biases by posting “troll information” (sarcastic comments parodying anti-science views) on Facebook.

The farcical posts the researchers used were blatantly obvious, “like the undisclosed news that infinite energy has been finally discovered,” or that a “new lamp made of actinides (e.g. plutonium and uranium) might solve problems of energy gathering with less impact on the environment,” or that “chemical analysis” has revealed that “chemtrails contain sildenafil citratum (the active ingredient of Viagra).”

A whopping 78 percent of those who “liked” the 4,709 troll posts were people who were regular followers of conspiracy Facebook pages and outlets, Additionally, 81 percent of those who commented on the troll posts had similar social media habits.

The researchers also made sure to point out that “cognitive resources” were wasted when people who reject conspiracy theories took time to engage in disputing the unscientific “troll” claims.”

In other words, don’t waste your time arguing with conspiracy nuts — which is sound advice I routinely ignore.

[Plos One] This post was first published in May of 2015 and has since been updated



  1. Avatar


    May 5, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Look at the facts of building 7 and the interviews of the engineers many of which were stricken from the investigation! How does a building that has not been struck by any other building lapse perfectly lime planned demolition?

  2. Avatar


    May 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    In an interview, following 9-11, Larry Silverstein (the owner of building 7), said that he gave the order to “pull” building 7-a jargon term used by controlled demolition experts, meaning: to collapse a building or structure by the use of explosives.

  3. Avatar

    Paul Notgonnasay

    May 5, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    To argue with fools makes one a bigger fool.

  4. Avatar

    Sheri Weber

    May 6, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Regardless the WTC went down like a demolition and you can troll us and tell us it didn’t but we know it did and so do you.

  5. Avatar


    September 11, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I’m not sure what this is supposed to prove, other than confirmation bias.

  6. Avatar


    September 12, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Not only did the WTC buildings go down, but If I remember right building 5 went down also and it was never even hit

  7. Avatar


    September 13, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Caught fire. No water to put it out. Steel cantilever design, massive open atrium at the front of the building all hanging off a pre existing substation at the back of the building. A wonder of architectural design not built to withstand more than three hours of fire.

  8. Avatar


    September 15, 2015 at 1:37 am

    sounds like the “researchers” are conspiracy nuts themselves! This article is nonsense!

  9. Avatar


    December 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Could we maybe troll conspiracy pages with ACCURATE and NEW science? Just a thought. Maybe when we start to fill these people’s heads with enough actual and impressive realities, they’ll “get better” over time.

  10. Avatar

    dthfgh fhdfh

    December 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    No we don’t Sheri. Let’s face it, you are idiots. Some people just shouldn’t have internet access.

  11. Avatar

    Brooklyn Culture Jammers

    December 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    the study cited seems to be of random individuals within the ‘truther’ community. There are credentialed people who disbelieve the official story, including the people who’ve signed on to the petitions from Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth. These people are different from the fringe believers cited in the survey.
    disbelieving the ‘official’ story of 9/11 does not mean someone is a conspiracy nut. The men and women of AE9/11 truth are risking their personal reputation in order to bring attention to the scientific gaps in the Commission’s story.

  12. Avatar


    December 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Controlled demolition experts use the term “pull” when talking about causing a building to fall sideways by attaching steel cables to “pull” it. On the other hand, Larry Silverstein (in context) was referring to “pulling” the firefighters out of the building or “pulling” [the plug] on the efforts to save the building.

    Implying that this is evidence of controlled demolition is either ignorant or dishonest. All three buildings on 9/11 were damaged, weakened by fires and then collapsed due to gravity. Neither invisible explosives nor magic thermite was needed.

  13. Avatar


    June 19, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Hello! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the excellent information you have here on this post. I might be coming back to your weblog for a lot more soon.

  14. Avatar

    download kik for pc

    June 21, 2017 at 9:35 am

    It was actually great to read this info and I feel you are completely correct. Let me know if you are curious about kik messenger free, this is my major competence. I’m hoping to hear from you in the near future, bye for now!

  15. Avatar

    download vshare

    June 22, 2017 at 3:24 am

    I’m interested to discover what blog platform you’re working with? I am having some slight security problems with our most recent site about vshare download no jailbreak and I would love to find one thing much more risk-free. Have you got any recommendations?

  16. Avatar

    download vshare ios

    June 22, 2017 at 3:47 am

    I came right here from a different website on vshare for ipad and imagined I might as well check this out. I love what I see so now I am following you. Looking forward to finding out about the blog yet again.

  17. Avatar


    September 12, 2018 at 4:53 am

    So much forgetting here,how airplane stocks were all sold off days before,how the bomb sniffing were pulled out from the towers two or three days before, how the fire department responded to a blast in the basement, how the video surveillance feed was cut (excuse was of internet upgrade, but many upgrades had been done before), and oh, yes, the towers were insured for twice the amount that they were worth, then Bush’s brother was in charge of disposal of the rubble.lus the only plane flying was to airlift Bin Oladin’s family out of the USA.Also, no plane wreckage at the pentagon. Now if a democrat was in charge at this time, he would have been impeached and tried for treason.So,all of this information in this article just doesn’t add up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top