Between Conspiracy Theories, Personality, Psychology, And Money: The Wheels Of Fake News

On the internet, information can spread easily and instantaneously. Anything can be created, shared and engaged with.

The thing is, when it comes to a certain information, there is only one truth. The rest is either fabricated, or fake news. People know this, but they finding the truth is difficult, especially when information is abundance, and that everyone is voicing their opinions, making the truth sit between light and dark.

If there is the truth, the problem is where to find them.

How to find it.

Some people make use of the internet and its vast reach to spread falsified information for various purposes.

There can be a variety of reasons why they do this. But in all, conspiracy theorists thrive when things are too hot to handle.

Conspiracy theories
"Conspiracy theories have been around for a very long time."

A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that asserts the existence of a conspiracy by powerful and sinister groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.

The term generally has a negative connotation, implying that the appeal of a conspiracy theory is based in prejudice, emotional conviction, or insufficient evidence.

A conspiracy theory is distinct from a conspiracy; it refers to a hypothesized conspiracy with specific characteristics, including but not limited to opposition to the mainstream consensus among those who are qualified to evaluate its accuracy, such as scientists or historians.

Conspiracy theorists are good in what they do, due to:

  • Financial Gain: Controversial content often attracts a large audience, which translates to higher advertising revenue and sales of products. Sensational stories and conspiracy theories drive traffic and increase profits.
  • Ideological Beliefs: Some fake news creators have strong ideological convictions and often presents themselves as crusaders against what they perceive as government overreach, globalist agendas, and mainstream media manipulation. This perspective resonates with a segment of the population that shares these views, reinforcing their commitment to these narratives.
  • Audience Engagement: Provocative and sensational content tends to generate more engagement, such as clicks, shares, and discussions. By continuously pushing the boundaries, some creators can keep their audience engaged and maintains their relevance in the media landscape.
  • Misinformation Ecosystem: Some creators operate within a broader ecosystem of misinformation and conspiracy theories. This environment creates a feedback loop where false information is constantly reinforced by like-minded individuals and platforms, making it easier for them to continue spreading fake news.
  • Legal and Social Consequences: Despite facing legal challenges and societal backlash, the penalties have not always been enough to deter these creators.
  • Psychological Factors: Some argue that fake news creators might genuinely believe some of the theories they promote or has convinced themselves of their validity over time. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias can lead individuals to cling to their beliefs despite contrary evidence.

Alex Jones
"Alex Jones, a well-known conspiracy theorist."

Some people create fake news, and continue spreading false information, even when they know that it's not true.

To these people, being able to captivate their audience, is giving them both the power and the influence, and the ability to build a community.

With the ability to promote certain narratives, these people can influence public opinion, and even change the political landscape, through what's considered deflection and diversion.

Framing themselves as independent journalism, these people can disrupt the status quo and create confusion.

In other words, they're fluent in weaponizing doubt.

This can be a strategic move to undermine trust in institutions, media, and authorities, which can be advantageous for certain political or ideological goals.

More than often, these people operate within a media ecosystem that validates and amplifies their views. This is called the 'Echo Chamber Effect,' and this is creating a sense of legitimacy around the misinformation, making it easier for the creators to justify spreading them.

Some creators even go as far as portraying themselves as victims of censorship or persecution, in order to amplify sympathy and support from their audience.

What's more, conspiracy theories can be good at what they do, because they tend to be internally consistent and correlate with each other.

Instead of fighting the truth with fakery, conspiracy theories are often designed to resist falsification either by using evidence against them, or utilizing the lack of evidence to go against them.

Conspiracy theories
"Conspiracy theories tend to follow a pattern, and that they often piggyback current news and viral incidents, and use them to spread alarming "theories" that need quick intervention or solution."

As for their tool to make fakeries believable, conspiracy theorists can use things like fear as a powerful motivator.

In order to quickly spread false information, these people often piggyback current news and viral incidents, and use them to spread alarming "theories" that need quick intervention or solution.

This creates a heightened sense of impulsiveness from the audience, who are driven out of their comfort zone towards heightened anxiety.

By manipulating the audience's emotions, conspiracy theorists can make them more reactive and likely to engage with and share their material.

To some of these people, having these abilities is a unique psychological thrill.

Being at the center of controversy and upheaval can be personally rewarding, if not narcissistic.

After all, doing this can earn them a cult-like following.

It's a hero complex situation, and that it excites them, to say the least.

Conspiracy theories
"The internet is diluting information, blurring fact and fake."

In order to achieve this all, these people are often charismatic, and have strong personality.

They know how to manipulate others psychologically, and adapt to the market's demands. They know how to exploit the gaps in media literacy, exploit the vulnerable, exploit people's uncertainty about something, and appeal to populists.

Working within polarizing issues, they can ensure their information remains relevant and contentious, driving continuous engagement from both supporters and detractors.

They know how the wheels of the industry they're in work, and by spreading false information, they forge a strong identity and brand.

If it's not called self-preservation, it's either emotional investment for an anti-establishment sentiment.

And when the truth is about to be revealed, these people may double down on misinformation to avoid the discomfort of admitting they were wrong.

This is called dissonance reduction.

After all, if free speech matters, these people tend to hide behind that fundamental right.

Combining these factors, it becomes clear that the motivations behind spreading false information can be complex and multifaceted, involving a mix of personal, financial, ideological, and psychological elements.