I’m going to share with you the question I get more than virtually any other. It comes from sons and daughters, husbands and wives, uncles and aunts. It’s a simple question with a hard, complicated, and often completely unsatisfactory answer. Here it is:
A person I love is deeply committed to conspiracies. What can I do?
Sometimes the question is followed by another. What resources can I share with them to prove that vaccines are safe? Or that COVID is real? Or that the election was lawful? I’ve had a tendency to respond to the question with a question. Is your loved one merely conspiracy-curious, or are they conspiracy committed?
If conspiracy-curious—they’re coming to you with genuine questions about misinformation—my advice has been simple: Engage enthusiastically. In other words, don’t be alarmed by bizarre questions. Instead, view them as an opportunity to have honest and genuine conversations. I love it when someone asks me, for example, if late night “ballot dumps” turned the election for Biden. The question communicates an open mind.