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Barkun Speaks to Daily Beast About Conspiracy Theories Targeting Specific People

June 16, 2022

The Daily Beast

Michael Barkun

Michael Barkun

In May, conspiracy theorists baselessly linked a crash involving 100 lab research monkeys to a witness's fictitious death to monkeypox. Experts on conspiratorial rhetoric say that the emergence and circulation of this story makes total sense because identifying a specific victim can give a big boost to a theory within conspiracy world.

“Linking a conspiracy claim to a named individual…gives it the appearance of legitimacy,” explains Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science and expert on conspiracy theories. “If there’s a specific person involved, people think it must therefore be true.”

Read more in the Daily Beast article, "The Very Alive Woman Conspiracy Nuts Say Died of Monkeypox."

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