What to Do
What can I do?
It is important to identify conspiracy theory tendencies early. The Center for Monitoring, Analysis, and Strategy (CeMAS), which was cofounded by the social psychologist Pia Lamberty, systematically monitors digital platforms in order to identify anti-democratic tendencies. It then provides recommendations for action to members of civil society, the media, and politicians. Through the Friedensdemo-Watch (Peace Protest Watch) website, anti-democratic protests can be identified and observed.
How can I get out?
It is very difficult to convince conspiracy theory believers that there are not two parallel worlds. The psychology and the social dynamics that develop among conspiracy theory believers bring to mind those of sects, which is why counseling centers devoted to sects, such as ZEBRA in Baden-Württemberg and SektenInfo (Sect Info) in Berlin, are good places to go to if you want to get out. There is also help available for the friends and partners of people who spread conspiracy theories at further centers, one of which is veritas in Berlin, which is the first counseling center in Germany devoted to those connected to conspiracy theory believers.
It is important to show moral courage, to speak up, and to check facts, for example through fullfact.org or factcheck.org. In private conversations, you can ask people about their opinions. Above all, we must try to establish a public and political culture of transparency in which conspiracy theories have no place.