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How to talk to believers in COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories cause real problems with COVID-19, discouraging some people from getting vaccinated, wearing masks, or following other instructions. Some bizarre theories about the virus have led believers to burn 5G cell towers, close vaccination clinics, or even ingest toxins that are being treated.

In an interview with The Associated Press, disinformation ապ psychologists offer some advice for those interested in talking to friends or family who believe in conspiracy theories about COVID-19. Here is what they offer.

Listen, do not preach. Those who believe in conspiracy theories are unlikely to be overwhelmed by people who ridicule their views. Instead of lecturing, listen, ask questions about how they became interested in conspiracy theories, where they got their information, and whether they considered other explanations. If possible, keep the conversation online.

REST. Arguing with someone about conspiracy theories is likely to only lead to high blood pressure. Remember that some people will not change their minds, no matter what you say, ելը arguing over the proven benefits of wearing a mask or vaccine is unlikely to convince them.

CHANGE THE PROJECT. Bring common experiences և interests to help the person focus on personal relationships. If someone is talking about conspiracy theories, politely say that you prefer to talk about something else.

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As for increasing your own defense against misinformation about conspiracy theories և virus (or any other topic), experts suggest the following:

EXPAND YOUR ED LM Diet. Checking a variety of news sources, including some major local, national, and international media, is the best way to stay informed, avoid misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Do not rely only on social networks for your news.

Check the sources. See who wrote the content, who is quoted. Are they names? Do they have a position or experience that gives credibility to their demands? Are there any other points of view expressed in the article? Beware of “inside” anonymous internet posters or claims made by someone referring to the news. Also check the dates. Misinformation traders often post old photos or news և claiming they are new.

BE LATE CONTENT TH, WHERE ARE YOU WHO MAKE? Misinformation ադրության Conspiracy theories often use anger, fear, or other emotions. Be wary of content that is highly emotional or descriptive. If you read something that really motivates you, wait until your emotions cool down before posting or sending back to friends.

GET EMERGENCY ANNOUNCEMENTS. If you read something that makes an unbelievable claim, an argument that sounds too good to be true, or too strange to be true, check to see if it is reported elsewhere. If this is a possible story, other points will confirm the details. Be wary of explosive claims if they are made on a single site or by a single social media user.

YOU OFF WILL. The epidemic is a time of intense stress and fear for everyone, there are many legitimate questions about the virus. Experts say that healthy habits, such as exercise, meditation, positive relationships, volunteering, even hobbies, can alleviate some of the fear, make us more resistant to the misinformation, conspiracy theories that use our fear or anger.

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