Last week, a video making spurious claims about COVID-19 went viral on the internet despite being repeatedly removed from social media platforms for violating community standards. Why did so many Americans share the video and believe its claims? What can we learn from this experience about how misinformation spreads in the midst of crisis?
Today on the show, Carousel explores conspiracy theories—what they are, who believes them, how they circulate, and why they often take hold in times of uncertainty—with political scientists Joseph E. Uscinski and Adam M. Enders, who have recently written about coronavirus conspiracy theories for The Atlantic and the Washington Post.
Joseph E. Uscinski is an associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. He is co-author of American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford University Press, 2014, with Joseph M. Parent) and editor of Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Adam M. Enders is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisville.