Residents look on after a cargo ship ran into and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore. Conspiracy theorists online quickly spread narratives to millions online that the accident was part of a nefarious scheme.

One researcher says it has become “standard” for any unexpected event “to be run through a filter of conspiracy theories based on the personal brand of the person spreading the theory.”

(Image credit: Rob Carr)


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