Lots of trolls have been online lately.. when you hear the term, you’re accustomed to thinking of teenage twits in the wasteland of their parents’ dark basement.. 4CHANers posing as people and knocking around the innocent with online bullying and fake news..

But these trolls are scientists. And they are trolling conspiracy websites and forums in an attempt to make the muddy waters even dirtier..

A new study concludes that ‘anti-science’ conspiracy theorists don’t know when they are being fooled by insane conspiracy theories.. According to the research published on PLOS.ORG,  people who already believe in conspiracy are more apt to believing in more of it and finding information to back their claims rather than refute it.. Even more, the study says, people will engage in social media pages more when they realize they found a place that would allow their beliefs–beliefs that are typically opposite of the mainstream of society on any given topic..

Here is how the RAW STORY described the way the study was conducted:

The researchers examined social media patterns for 1.2 million Facebook users and found that nearly 92 percent of those who engage with Italian conspiracy theory pages interact almost exclusively with conspiracy theory pages.

The study also found that conspiracy theory posts are much more likely to be shared and liked by Facebook users.

The researchers then tested the strength of these users’ biases by posting “troll information” – or sarcastic comments parodying anti-science views – on Facebook.

“These posts are clearly unsubstantiated claims, like the undisclosed news that infinite energy has been finally discovered, or that a new lamp made of actinides (e.g. plutonium and uranium) might solve problems of energy gathering with less impact on the environment, or that the chemical analysis revealed that chemtrails contains sildenafil citratum (the active ingredient of Viagra),” the researchers said.

They found that 78 percent of those who “liked” these 4,709 troll posts interacted primarily with conspiracy theory pages, as were 81 percent of those who commented on them.

The researchers also noted that anti-conspiracy theorists often wasted “cognitive resources” pushing back against these unscientific “troll” claims, even when they were “satirical imitation of false claims.”

There are some interesting parts to this study but also some creepy angles to consider.

Most people on Facebook have either been duped by a fake ONION story or saw a friend get sidelined by fraud information or parody.. It’s a truly self-defeating time in someone’s life when other friends post the SNOPES refute to ‘school’ the tin foil hat wearing Facebook user. But for scientists to purposely troll and unknowingly study people who didn’t take  the opportunity to volunteer for such a study is a little more creepy..  While there is no dubious note being placed on the study results from me, the notion that people unknowingly were becoming mocked and the butt of jokes in the elite scientific circles is a bit too much..

There are parallels that can be drawn from this, however. And positive ones as well.. First off, it’s always good to ascertain the source of information you are getting–this is important for this website as well, as we often source out and link places where we get information and attempt to trace any news back to an original source before your consumption takes place on NIGHT TERROR NEWS. Going further than that, though, it’s also good to consider those sources and conduct careful review before buying into something that sounds a little fishy. I am reminded of the MARK DICE videos where he is able to get people to sign a petition for just about anything, including one where he asked people to sign a form demanding the banning of H2O from the environment.. People did.

You can always find a few..

But on the other side of this coin, there are positives to have a doubtful mind when you read news..

While some enjoy debunking conspiracy theories, there are truthful moments of history where conspiracy took place. And times where sordid events occurred because of ill-timed or contrived actions on behalf of those in charge of society.. there is truth to many conspiracies.. they all don’t pan out. And they all don’t make sense.. However, simply buying into the ‘official’ line without questions is not scientific at all, and contrary to how an astute functioning brain should actually operate..

When the Sandy Hook nightmare took center state in December 2012, a number of conspiracy theories abounded. In part that happened due to awful reporting from mainstream sources, and wrong information being disseminated on national news programming..

One man’s conspiracy theory is another man’s fact.
Sometimes this argument over conspiracy theory itself annoys me.

When George W. Bush was in office, many liberal Democrats found themselves being in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Alex Jones that 9/11 was an inside job. When Barack Obama assumed the presidency, those same people who bought into old conspiracy suddenly matured and downplayed anything that questioned the public relations talking points about the President. Suddenly Alex Jones became a kook who, some may even say, should lose his First Amendment right..

There are very rational people who want to deliver us from talking points and get to the bottom of a story. Without a conspiracy theorist, Woodward and Bernstein would never had asked more questions.. Iran Contra would have been ignored.. Bill Clinton would not have had sexual relations with an intern, at least to our knowledge. History itself has been shaped by people asking more question, delving deeper, and using a scientific approach to factual discernment.

That is not to say people aren’t wild and wide-eyed in their belief systems at times. It’s tough to believe that reptilian shape shifters are reading teleprompters on the evening news. But I for one don’t want to take away anyone’s ability to claim that. I will discern the information I read and research the sources of them..

And finally, with all that said, there is one more aspect to ‘conspiracy theory’ about science, vaccines, and all of those types of topics  I think would be worthwhile to state.. Do vaccines cause autism? Probably not. But do vaccines cause injuries? Yes. There is a Vaccine Injury Fund.  Do scientific studies conclude anything? Yes. But other studies refute those conclusions and keep the topic going.. is coffee bad for you? Does traffic cause autism? Are airplanes releasing toxic pollution that is changing our atmosphere? All of those questions and more get answers.. and then new answers and theories..

Perhaps this is where you need to take a step back BEFORE you conclude anything.

What is science? It’s not a man. Or a deity. Or a God. No matter what some may think. Instead it is defined this way:

the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

And on those types of things, so often there are no answers.

If I asked you: Are there colors we have never seen? You’d most likely first say no, we have seen them all. Then you may back it up by saying the very factual statement that since we have already explored the electromagnetic spectrum, there are no more reasons to ask this question. And no more colors coming.

But what about that alternate universe that may exist? That other galaxy where all things would be new? The place where, quite possibly, gravity is not a rule and things don’t quite work they way they do in our logic.

Science is evolving constantly.. finding out more.. And asking.
And anyone who would start to diminish the need for people to keep asking questions are not scientists at all..



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