How do you talk to people about conspiracy theories without ruining Christmas?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by dumbest man on earth, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Ran across this Article : https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-55350794
    "How should you talk to friends and relatives who believe conspiracy theories?
    By Marianna Spring
    Specialist disinformation reporter

    1: Keep calm
    While it's important to confront falsehoods, it's never useful if things end up in a flaming row.
    "My number one rule would be to not spoil Christmas," says Mick West, author of Escaping the Rabbit Hole. "An angry, heated conversation will leave everyone feeling rubbish and further cement conspiracy beliefs."

    2: Don't be dismissive
    "Approach conversations with friends and family with empathy rather than ridicule," says Claire Wardle from First Draft, a not-for-profit which fights misinformation. "Listen to what they have to say with patience."
    Her golden rule is: never publicly shame someone for their views. That's likely to backfire.

    3: Encourage critical thinking
    People who believe conspiracy theories often say: "I do my own research."
    "Many people who believe in conspiracy theories see themselves as healthy sceptics and self-taught researchers into complex issues," he says. "Present this as something that, in principle, you value and share.
    "Your aim is not to make them less curious or sceptical, but to change what they are curious about, or sceptical of."

    4: Ask questions
    Fact-checking is important, but it's often not the right approach when someone passionately believes in conspiracies. Questions are much more effective than assertions, experts say.
    "By asking questions and getting people to realise the flaws, you ultimately get people to doubt their own confidence and open them up to hearing alternative views," says former conspiracy believer Phil.

    5: Don't expect immediate results
    You might be hoping that a constructive conversation will end with some kind of epiphany over Christmas pudding - but don't bet on it.
    For those who have fallen deep down the conspiracy rabbit hole, getting out again can be a very long process.
    "Conspiracy theories tend to be simple, powerful stories that explain the world. Reality is complex and messy, which is harder for our brains to process."
    But the experts agree that even if you don't see immediate results - don't give up. "
    ^^ above quoted ^^ from and more in article : https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-55350794

    The idea of talking to people about conspiracy theories at any time is ludicrous at best...to me at least.

    So, coming accross an Article with a guide to doing just that and doing it without ruining the Holidays...and on the BBC website...I found a little bit...odd?
    but it was written by an authentic Specialist disinformation reporter, so...

    ...cannot remember ever talking to any people about any conspiracy theories ever ruining any christmas...
    But, I am not English...
     
    wegs likes this.
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Lol! Conspiracy theories and Yuletide cheer? Maybe start a trend

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    Being serious, I’m not aware of conspiracy theories being off topic around the holidays. Usually, conspiracy theorists are anti-establishment and there’s always at least one relative you run across during the holidays who has that mindset. With Covid this year, get togethers may be smaller so there might be less controversy.

    I enjoy talking about conspiracy theories though if they seem halfway believable.
     
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  5. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Speaking of Being serious... : Marianna Spring is a Specialist disinformation reporter...for the BBC...
    Speaking of Being serious... : The Article seems to push the Covid-19 Virus and Coronavirus Vaccine as a Conspiracy Theory Fodder.

    Being REAL serious...

    Happy All Your Days!
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    As always: Three things not to discuss over family dinner: Sex, religion and politics.


    I was at a family dinner last year, sitting right between the kids (twenty-somethings) and the "grups" who were waxing banal about something mundane.

    The kids were bored of the table conversation, so I said "Hold my beer..."

    I mimed picking up a hand grenade, pulling out the pin with my teeth, and lobbing it into the midst of the grown-ups, crying simply "TRUMP!"

    While we looked on with amusement, the resultant grown-up argument lasted an hour and a half.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    4,879
    How not to talk about conspiracy theories and not ruin the rest of your winter:
    Don't be in the same room with idiots! People who insist on putting forth conspiracy theories have probably been to super-spreader events without any protection and won't balk at spraying both kinds of stupidity all over you.
    Stay home. Invite nobody.
     
  9. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    If someone starts talking conspiracy theories during the holidays, just smile and hand them a strong drink, sit back and enjoy the show. I have yet to see anyone change their minds by offering reason or logic. This forum and many more like it are a testament to that.
     
    Traverse and sculptor like this.

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