Birds Aren't Real: A Conspiracy Theory Parody

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A Gen Z parody movement targets conspiracy theory lunacy with more more lunacy, claiming birds in the sky are not what you think they are.

  • Gen-Z has come of age in a time of misinformation and proliferation of conspiracy theories like QAnon — which posits that a cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles holds sway in Washington.
  • So it’s perhaps no surprise that a parody of this kind of conspiratorial thinking should arise out of Gen Z itself.
  • “Birds Aren’t Real” is a satirical conspiracy theory started by Peter McIndoe, an American college dropout, claiming that what we think are birds are really government drones that spy.
  • After doing it for years, he recently broke character to admit that “Birds Aren’t Real” is a parody intended to give people an outlet to “laugh at the madness rather than be overcome by it.
  • But behind the humor is a serious message about the proliferation of misinformation and conspiratorial thinking in society.
  • While baby boomers are more likely to believe and spread misinformation, according to studies, it’s not a trend Gen Z is immune to.
  • Despite the media-savvy of so-called “digital natives” that belong to Gen Z, their relative lack of trust in traditional media and government also makes them susceptible to misinformation.
  • Members of Gen Z, moreover, mainly get their news from social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram where disinformation often proliferates.
The New York Times
The Guardian
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5 articles on this topic


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