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Maxwell School News and Commentary

Filtered by: Social Media

Barkun quoted in NorthJersey.com piece on TWA 800 conspiracy theories

July 9, 2021
Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science, says internet forums and social media platforms have served as mass media outlets without gatekeepers. They allow unconventional ideas to quickly become mainstream. "Now anyone with an idea, no matter how bizarre, has a way of potentially getting it in front of fairly large audiences," he says. "That has eroded what was once a firm boundary between the fringe and the mainstream."

See related: Social Media , Technology

Barkun comments on QAnon's March 4 failure in Business Insider article

March 5, 2021
"QAnon is dealing with a very difficult cognitive-dissonance situation," says Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science.

Barkun quoted in Business Insider piece on QAnon's Trump conspiracy theory

March 1, 2021
"You really feel like you're in an Alice in Wonderland world when you start going through the ideas of the sovereign citizens," says Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science. "They will construct more and more complex rationalizations that push the events that they wish for farther and farther into the future." 

Barkun participates in discussion panel on QAnon

February 17, 2021
The panelists discussed the dangers of conspiracy theories, the processes of joining and leaving cults (and whether QAnon is itself a cult), and the threat that the United States faces from QAnon now that Joe Biden is president. 

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