Rules of engagement when talking to conspiracists

Having productive conversations about conspiracy theories is easier said than done.

Protesters hold up placards during an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on October 23, 2020, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic [William West/AFP]

Between anti-vaxxers, COVID-truthers, and QAnon, conspiracy theorists seem to be having a moment. But having productive conversations about these theories is easier said than done. In this episode, social psychologist Jovan Byford explains why conspiracy theories spread during moments of upheaval, and shares his advice for talking to people who believe in them.

In this episode:

Dr Jovan Byford, senior lecturer in psychology, Open University

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The team:

Negin Owliaei produced this episode with Dina Kesbeh, Alexandra Locke, Ney Alvarez, Amy Walters, Priyanka Tilve, Josh Rushing, and Malika Bilal.

Alex Roldan was the sound designer. Natalia Aldana is the engagement producer. Stacey Samuel is The Take’s executive producer.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies