Conspiracy by mail

By Misch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Conspiracy myths about diseases, vaccines and distorted statistics have become more prelevant since the outbreak of the pandemic. World views that are drawn up and disseminated on alternative news platforms have now found their way into the analogue world in Ettelbrück via the letterbox.

Social media are a petri dish for conspiracy myths. In no time at all, ideas crystallise almost by themselves, becoming viral self-starters and appearing on as many news feeds as possible. Most people press the share button passively, and, when asked whether they believe what they share, express doubt themselves. Rather, the blind sharing of disinformation is the result of a mental passivity that many fall into, if the headline roughly reflects their worldview.

All the more unusual, therefore, is the newspaper that turned up in several letterboxes in the Ettelbruck area in early May. It is a colourful, 8-page patchwork of various opinion articles and comments, some with an author's line, some without. The texts, which are a cross-section of the most common Corona myths, have all already been published on various alternative media platforms: From Corona as a biological tool to bring to knees the world market, to miniature robots in vaccines or rapid tests, to doctors being equated with Nazi researchers. Even the exact content of the little interjections in bylines or speech bubbles that accompany the articles can be found identically on the internet. Only the name tags of the caricatures of "Paulette" and "Xavier" and a photo of a Luxembourg law text make reveal that the paper is indeed intended for Luxembourg.

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