But such clear-cut instances were rare. In other cases, the network simply nudged along existing or nascent conspiracy theories: about , about a to rig the election for her, about stock conspiracists’ obsessions like the , the and the Illuminati. In general, the social-media matrix is so opaque, with anyone able to set up an account under any persona, that “you can only crack a piece of it,” Watts’s colleague J.M. Berger told me.


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