Case study: Chemtrails - just a sci-fi stuff or a real danger?
This case study aims to make the learner aware of the different issues related the construction and spreading of disinformation. The learner has to make up their mind if one of the most famous conspiracy theories -- chemtrails -- is true or not. While searching for materials and opinions -- in favour or against the claim that chemtrails are a real aerial danger for people -- the learner will face with both the history and the scientific foundations of the chemtrails theory, its diffusion trough social media, the ways in which it is possible to debunk the theory itself, and the business opportunities of spreading false theories.
Recommended for: university students (especially in science/technology courses) highschool students
Tags: environment, pollution, conspiracy theories
Chemtrails -- rephrased from condensation trails (or contrails) -- according to the conspiracy theory of the same name, are not part of the natural aerial trails left by aircraft or cloud formations, but have apparently anomalous characteristics, as if they were trails of chemicals that poison the air which we breathe. This building block provides scientific information about how they form. Further, we also llok into when the chemtrails claim was born and who supported this conspiracy theory over time. Finally, we note that the theory relies much on people confusing chemtrails with a method called 'cloud seeding', which consists of spreading silver iodide (AgI) on clouds to stimulate rainfall or snowfall, or to suppress hail or fog.
There are many Facebook pages and groups with a single common denominator -- their objective is to convey the common ideas shared by any typical conspiracy, to convey false information or unverified news, and end up with creating a really large network of disinformation inside the social media. This building block presents not only both Facebook and Twitter accounts related to chemtrails, but also some web pages on how the hoax of chemical trails is created, maintained and debunked.
Chemical trails as a marketing stunt for conspirators: some comments and examples from the Internet-marketplace.
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