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Kelly Weill on Flat-Earthers and Why People Will Believe Anything

February 28, 2022

In this week’s episode, we are diving into the flat-earth conspiracy theory and why people could believe such a thing with guest Kelly Weill and her new book, Off the Edge.

In 2019 Jim Underdown and the CFI Investigations Group produced a video where they designed a series of experiments to show that the earth is indeed not flat. CFIIG’s conducted their experiment in front of over a dozen flat-earthers. Even in the face of conflicting evidence to their own beliefs, the flat-earthers held firm in their claims.

Underdown and Weill speak about her new book, the history of the flat-earth conspiracy dating back to the 1830s, and the desire to belong to a community, which Weill saw as a reason some flat-earthers join the movement. Also, the role media and emerging technologies play in helping conspiracists spread their messages.

You can also read Weill’s piece in the Atlantic on the book and flat-earthers.

Kelly Weill is a journalist at the Daily Beast, where she covers extremism, disinformation, and the internet. As a leading media voice on the role of online conspiracy theories in current affairs, she has discussed Flat Earth and other digital fringes on ABC’s Nightline, CNN, Al Jazeera, and other national and international news outlets. You can find Kelly on Twitter @kellyweill

Jim Underdown

Jim Underdown

Jim Underdown is executive director of Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles, and the founder of the Independent Investigations Group.