When Anti-Vaccination Fears Come From Inside the House
September 11, 2020 by

This is the eighth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Check back often for updates and new information.  While some may think that protests about vaccinations are a …

Zip Tie Abduction Rumors Spread, Lead to Panic and Arrests
August 31, 2020 by

False rumors of roving bands of abductors using plastic zip ties to identify their victims have been circulating on social media since around 2018 and recently surged in popularity. The warnings, often appearing on Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor, and WhatsApp, warn people about plastic zip ties being found on their vehicles, doorknobs, fences, mailboxes, and elsewhere.  …

Virus and Conspiracies Spread
Conspiracies Grow as COVID Spreads
August 21, 2020 by

Conspiracies are common, especially during times of stress and social upheaval. So far in 2020, America has seen a confluence of stressors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and race riots across the country. As of this writing, there’s no clear end in sight for either.  There are many facets to the problem, and one of the …

Another Week, (Yet) Another Trump Conspiracy
August 11, 2020 by

President Trump has long been known to peddle unfounded conspiracies, and has done so for years.  Most recently Trump has revived years-old, long-debunked claims about widespread voter fraud, especially by mail. There is no evidence at all that voter fraud is significant, much less rampant, but nevertheless Trump succeeds in sowing uncertainty about the validity …

featured on racism and covid
Where Racism, Anti-Vaccination, and COVID-19 Conspiracy Meet
June 10, 2020 by

This is the sixth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  The twin plagues of COVID-19 and racism have come …

‘Plandemic’ Asks Questions—But Won’t Answer Them
May 21, 2020 by

Earlier this month, a YouTube video for an (apparently) upcoming documentary titled Plandemic was released by Mikki Willis (credited onscreen as “father/filmaker” [sic]). The video features a lengthy interview with virologist Judy Mikovits, who offers scattershot conspiracy-laden assertions about the “truth” behind the COVID-19 pandemic, prefaced by claims of having been framed for a crime …

empty hospital beds
The COVID-19 ‘Empty Hospital’ Conspiracies
April 29, 2020 by

This is the fourth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There are countless coronavirus conspiracy claims circulating, ranging from …

Why Can’t We Have Nice Things? Because of You, That’s Why.
April 29, 2020 by

I should start by saying I don’t necessarily mean you, the reader. I hope, and the fact you are reading CFI stuff indicates this is likely, you don’t fall into this category. But we all know some, and probably way too many of them. There’s your uncle or cousin who causes embarrassment every year at …

Coronavirus-Misinformation-Celestia Ward
Fear Itself: COVID-19, Media Literacy, and Social Media Distancing
March 25, 2020 by

This is the first in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its COVID-19 Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There’s a natural—almost Pavlovian—tendency to follow the news closely, …

Browne 2004 covid excerpt
Sylvia Browne’s Bogus Coronavirus Prophecies
March 24, 2020 by

In recent weeks there’s been many rumors, myths, and misinformation about the current coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. One of the most curious is the recent resurrection of a posthumous prediction by psychic Sylvia Browne. In her 2008 book End of Days, Browne predicted that “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, …