Vaccine disinformation content has been circulating on websites that cite and publish each other, creating a self-reinforcing network, sometimes called an echo chamber, that can warp our impression of reality.
‘Deprogramming’ QAnon followers ignores free will and why they adopted the beliefs in the first place
Recent calls to deprogram QAnon conspiracy followers are steeped in discredited notions about brainwashing. As popularly imagined, brainwashing is a coercive procedure that programs new long-term personality changes. Deprogramming, also coercive, is thought to undo brainwashing.
As a professor of religious studies who has written and taught about alternative religious movements, I believe such deprogramming conversations do little to help us understand why people adopt QAnon beliefs. A deprogramming discourse fails to understand religious recruitment and conversion and excuses those spreading QAnon beliefs from accountability.
States’ vaccine prioritization schedules are rife with loopholes. Low-risk people like me shouldn’t crawl through them.