Connectedness, Conspiracy and Control: the Denver Airport Conspiracy and Suspicion in the Digital Age

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Title: Connectedness, Conspiracy and Control: the Denver Airport Conspiracy and Suspicion in the Digital Age
Creators: Winkelman, Meagan
Advisor: Kaplan, Merrill
Issue Date: 2012-06
Abstract: This thesis examines how online media provide ideal tools for the proliferation of conspiracy theory belief, while the content of these beliefs reflect anxieties relevant to users participating in digital culture. A case study of the conspiracy belief surrounding the Denver International Airport and its history online will explain how conspiracies grow into complex “superconspiracies,” as defined by Michael Barkun, when they are represented in online media dominated by user-generated content. Examining the controversy concerning the boundaries between public and private both in what people post online, and how sites use users’ information, will reveal the implication that the connectedness that digital technology brings to users is at the cost of total surveillance. This anxiety about connectedness is the core component of conspiracy theory belief, in which one engages in mapping hidden connections to reveal the conspiracy, and this paper will reveal how both the anxieties of Web 2.0 users, as well as the form of the Internet itself parallel the conventions of conspiracy belief, while facilitating their propagation.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of English Undergraduate Research Theses; 2012
Keywords: conspiracy
digital age
social networking
conspiracy theory
mind control
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