Fascinating academic effort to find a pattern in apparently random conspiracy theories that regularly pop up in our infostreams during social crises. Experts usually dismiss them because they are so wild and unlikely, and have thus failed to notice their impact.
Starbird’s insight was to map the digital connections between all this buzzing on Twitter with a conglomeration of websites. Then she analyzed the content of each site to try to answer the question: Just what is this alternative media ecosystem saying? | It isn’t a traditional left-right political axis, she found. There are right-wing sites like Danger & Play and left-wing sensationalizers such as The Free Thought Project. Some appear to be just trying to make money, while others are aggressively pushing political agendas. | The true common denominator, she found, is anti-globalism — deep suspicion of free trade, multinational business and global institutions. —Seattle Times