Conspiracy theories are “flourishing” in the digital era.
A 2017 study published in the journal Communication and the Public found that the digital era has helped conspiracy theories spread like wildfire. The journal states that conspiracy theories “flourish in the wide-open media of the digital age, spurring concerns about the role of misinformation in influencing public opinion and election outcomes.”
These days, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is a household name. The flat-Earth theory is having a revival, and the president of the United States has publicly supported birtherism, Kennedy assassination theories, and the anti-vaccination movement.
The latest public figure to give a face-palming conspiracy endorsement is Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry.
Curry made the outrageous claim that the moon landing was faked on the “Winging It” podcast hosted by the N.B.A. players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore as well as Annie Finberg, a digital content coordinator for the Atlanta Hawks.
“We ever been to the moon?” Curry asked.
The others agreed with Curry.
“They’re going to come get us,” Curry replied. “Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
When asked to clarify, Curry said he did not believe the United States had landed on the moon, leading to a short discussion of some of the more popular conspiracy theories, including the idea that director Stanley Kubrick shot the first landing on a soundstage.
For the uninitiated, there are many conspiracies surrounding the moon landing. The most popular narrative is that the U.S. filmed the moon landings on sound stages to trick the Soviet Union and the American people into believing it had won the space race.
One conspiracy suggests that the U.S. government asked “2001: A Space Odyssey” director Stanley Kubrick to direct the footage and that his 1980 thriller, “The Shining” contains veiled confessions of his involvement in the conspiracy.
However, in reality, NASA successfully landed 12 astronauts on the moon during six missions from 1969 to 1972. So it released a statement to The New York Times, to help correct Curry’s thinking.
“We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets,” said Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesman. “We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there and the Apollo mission control. During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”
Curry had a positive response to the scientific community’s attempts to educate him on the matter.
“I’ve got a lot of interesting feedback from some ex-NASA astronauts that I’m planning on having a conversation with,” Curry told reporters, according to The Athletic. “So some good is going to come out of this, for sure.”
While it’s cool that Curry is open to a dialogue, he should probably leave the talking to the experts. After all, how would he react to an astronaut saying they knew more about making a jump shot?