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Conspiracy theorists iterate.
When I advocate for conspiracy theorists, a common skeptical response is as follows:
”You’re not factoring in all the times conspiracy theorists are wrong — it’s a broken clock being right twice a day, not superior accuracy.
Here’s why that objection doesn’t hold up:
Indeed, everyone is often wrong. Me, you, conspiracy theorists, and “authoritative sources.”
The difference is this:
Immediately after Qanon failed to prevent Joe Biden’s inauguration last year, the public square was flooded with articles about brokenhearted, disillusioned adherents, and concessions by Qanon leaders:
Ron Watkins, the founder of 8chan who is one of several people suspected of being the anonymous poster “Q” who spawned the conspiracy theory, conceded shortly after Biden was sworn in, telling his supporters it was time for believers to keep their “chins up” and “go back to our lives.”
In other words:
Conspiracy theorists iterate. When they are proven wrong — their curiosities truly addressed and satisfied — they move on.
When “authoritative sources” are proven wrong, they quadruple-down and dissemble for years or decades.