A Handy Cheat-Sheet For Debunking The Dumb Conspiracy Theories Yr Relos Might Bring Up At Xmas

debunking conspiracy theories facebook relatives christmas

One thing nobody looks forward to at Christmas time – or however you choose to celebrate – is the dread of knowing you’ll probably have to field some wild questioning about very-obvious conspiracy theories from relatives, just because you’re the “young one” at the adults’ table at lunch, and the only one who’s “on the internet the most” out of everyone present.

As expected as mum buying a kilo of prawns, someone knocking over a glass of wine, and ending the day with pavlova, some rogue relative you only ever see for Big Family Events is probably going to come at you with their take on reality, so here’s a heap of the top Facebook conspiracy theories debunked so you can tell Aunty Deb that nobody’s infecting her through her phone while she plays Candy Crush.

Look, all these points make sense if your relos have any faith whatsoever in the remaining mainstream news outlets, but I digress.

1. 5G Is A Way The Government Is Controlling Us

5G – yes, that network your phone will eventually use to do everything at a higher speed – has been a hot-button topic in the social media conspiracy theory caverns pretty much ever since it was announced, and it’s been spreading like wildfire online.

Claims that it’s a government weapon to threaten and control. Claims that it’s got ties to the global coronavirus pandemic. Basically, all stemming back to that age-old thought that microwaves will cook you from the inside out if you stand too close.

ABC’s Four Corners did a solid dive into the rapid emergence of anti-5G beliefs in August, and look – it’s all very much demonstrably false. Just read this investigation out to your relos who absolutely take Facebook posts as gospel truth.


2. The US Election Was Full Of Voter Fraud

If your only news source is Donald Trump‘s Twitter feed or any of his rusted-on supporter news outlets, you might be forgiven for believing this one. But if they’ve taken that tinfoil hat off and looked literally anywhere else on the Internet, or read a newspaper, or done any kind of extra reading on Trump’s claims for voter fraud (because President-elect Joe Biden absolutely pantsed him at the polls) you’ll know that it’s very much not true.

Hell, even to the point where Fox News has walked back on claims that deceased people ‘voted’ in the state of Georgia. Further claims of dead voters by Trump supporters have also been debunked.

Oh, and that Wisconsin recount that Trump also demanded and paid a chill US$3 million for? Yeah, that did nothing but give Biden even more votes than he originally received.


  • Dead people did not vote.
  • President-Elect Joe Biden has won the election, with over a record-breaking 81 million votes.
  • At the time of writing, Donald Trump has not formally conceded his political defeat.

3. QAnon Is Legit

One of the biggest conspiracy theories in the last couple of years, but has seriously ramped up in 2020, is the idea that there’s a satanic cabal of high-tier celebrities and business people running a worldwide pedophilic child-trafficking ring… and Donald Trump is fighting them. It’s been disproven and discredited as a far-right conspiracy, but that hasn’t stopped a metric shit-tonne of people going whole-hog in believing its theories.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of QAnon, I’m so sorry to be the bearer of this information. QAnon began as a conspiracy theory in the depths of 8Chan (an imageboard stacked with horrible people) back in 2017, where a user known as ‘Q’ claimed to be a high-level official in the US Government who has access to classified information about Trump and its US opponents, The Democratic Party and its supporters.

USA Today published a big report this year debunking a lot of the QAnon theories that have found their way onto social media and likely into the Rolodex of your probbo relative’s arguments for why everything is so terrible all the time. Feel free to take these gems of knowledge to the table with you at Christmas lunch.

Failing all of that, Ben Lee has launched an in-conversation podcast from lockdown with Triple J’s Max Quinn which delves into his history in cults and how he sees a lot of cult manipulation and ‘re-traumatisation’ in QAnon’s recruitment methods.


  • QAnon is very likely a dangerous conspiracy theory psychological operation to challenge society’s faith in democracy. Don’t give it any energy.

4. The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Unsafe

Earlier this month, Facebook said that it would ban claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by health experts, including conspiracies that vaccines contain microchips, or that certain populations have become unknowing test subjects.

On top of that, one of the leading vaccines – the one developed by AstraZeneca which Australia has invested heavily inhas recently been peer-reviewed and confirmed as safe for use and is up to 90% effective, with an average of 70% effectiveness. The peer review, published on December 8, did note that further research is needed for the most effective way to administer the vaccine to patients.

If that’s not enough to quell the worried natter of your weird-in-the-worst-way relatives over the holidays, then I’m very sorry, but they’re too far gone. The brain worms have them now.