The Rumor Mill

Conspiracy theories flood the internet and draw people in.
Kate Middleton AI-generated photo posted on March 10, 2024.
Photo courtesy of UVAToday.
Kate Middleton AI-generated photo posted on March 10, 2024. Photo courtesy of UVAToday.

Is Taylor Swift working with the NFL? Did NASA film the moon landing in Hollywood? Was Elvis Presley’s death faked? These are all popular conspiracy theories that have spread through social media to make the world question reality.

One recent example of this was the “Katespiracy” that went viral on TikTok involving the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton. She had been completely out of the public eye since Christmas, and people got suspicious. 

The Royal family claimed that Kate Middleton had supposedly gotten surgery in January and was resting until Easter. On March 10, 2024, Kate Middleton posted a photo with her children, and as the media looked at the photo in more detail, people speculated that the photo was AI-generated.

People on social media came up with all kinds of theories, including her death. More videos were posted which caused millions to go down the rabbit hole of this conspiracy. It was later revealed that Kate Middleton had been diagnosed with cancer, but that didn’t end the conspiracies.

Another recent example was the collapse of the Baltimore Bridge. Due to the tremendous impact that the collapse had on world trade, some people believed that it was a terrorist attack. This was just one theory of many that circulated.

Some students at Elkhorn North have their own ideas about conspiracy theories like sophomore Jackson Flodine.

“Aliens are real,” Flodine said. “There’s literally no way, based on science and scientific variation, that we’re the only living organisms in the entire universe, even if it’s microscopic.”

Sophomore Alie Dixon and Cosette Kaminski have questions about Amelia Earhart’s death. Some people believe that she didn’t really die when her plane crashed over the Pacific Ocean. She was never found and neither was her plane. 

“I think that it’s cool to think about,” Kaminski said. “It connects the dots and all the little things start to make sense.”

Singer Taylor Swift and the Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce have been dating since September of 2023, when Swift showed up at a game on Sept. 24th. Swift’s large fanbase boosted viewing rates, and there was a 400% increase in sales of Travis Kelce’s jersey. This made people question if it was more than romance that brought the two together.

Why are people so interested in these theories? Some people believe that conspiracies are crazy and foolish, while others believe they hold some truth. 

“There’s always a possibility that they can be proven true,” sophomore Alie Dixon said. “It’s kind of fun because they mess with your brain.”

Some conspiracy theorists want to find answers to things that don’t make sense or they don’t understand. Even though some conspiracy theories aren’t always the most accurate or true, some believe that it’s important for people to have their own thoughts and opinions about the world and not believe everything they are told.

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