Faced with the pandemic, where to draw the line between criticism and conspiracy?


The Swiss independent news site Heidi has released an article titled “Faced with the pandemic, where to draw the line between critical and conspiratorial statements?” written by Sarah Sermondadez.

The Swiss scientific task force is interested in finding out why corona-skepticism is so widespread. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, misinformation, conspiracies, and fake news have been disseminated globally and in Switzerland. Apparently, the confusion and contradictory information that marked the beginning of the pandemic served as the perfect environment for conspiracies. People craved reassurance no matter how far-fetched it was. Also, the pandemic has made people more isolated than ever because social distancing mandates keep us at home. Many people sought online communities and found themselves being pulled into sinister, conspiracy communities like Qanon.

However, we must use caution when dealing with conspiracies, by demonizing them altogether we divide our society even further.  People can become fearful that by asking critical questions about the pandemic they will immediately be labeled as a conspiracist. That is why it is so important to understand the difference between curiosity and conspiracy.

The key way to distinguish conspiracies is that they deliberately place blame without producing legitimate sources to back up the accusations. Also, confirmation bias, meaning the conspiracy affirms the reader’s pre-held beliefs, plays a role. People ignore the inadequate information because they find so much comfort in being correct. These conspiracies are breeding a culture of distrust of the media and scientists that stretches beyond healthy skepticism.

Heidi news made this article free to the public because they believe the information within is vital. Click here to read the full article.

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