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Far South Coast residents warned about dangers of online conspiracy theories

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An expert in online conspiracy theories has warned Far South Coast residents about the dangers of getting taken in by cult-like groups such as QAnon.  

Professor at the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University Colin Kline said one of the concerns is the distortion of public health messages about Covid 19.

He said if people see online conspiracy theories being promoted in their community or personal Facebook pages it's good to call them out.

"Misinformation actually undermines public health efforts and it's actually quite bad if people get it wrong. This is one of the reasons the United States is in such a bad shape," he said. 

"It's not an ethically neutral thing to pass on this information. So that's a reason to be wary of it.

"So even just speaking out, because I think what happens is people who are engaged in this are happy to talk a lot, whereas people who aren't don't necessarily speak up. But it's worth pointing out these are extreme views and even if people say 'Look this doesn't seem plausible to me',  the more other people around will realise that the community by and large is a sensible one."