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after the attack, conspiracy theories

It is an imposed figure of attacks that hit France since 2015: hardly known the news of the shooting in Strasbourg, that emerged on Tuesday, December 11 on social networks, the inevitable conspiracy theories. The posture is now classic: it starts from a doubt about the reality of the attack, which occurs “As if by chance”at a time of external stakes (here the “yellow vests”, but each attack saw the same reasoning develop).

This “As if by chance” then allows all the extrapolations around an attack that would not be what it is supposed to be, but a staging. We will then look for elements to accredit this thesis.

An antedated tweet as evidence of the plot

Here, it will be screenshots of tweets where the timestamp is “Tuesday, December 11, 11 am” which are put forward as a proof that the attack, which took place around 8 pm, would be a staging, planned in advance.

This theory has been very successful in Facebook groups at the heart of the movement of “yellow vests”, although it has also spanned beyond. Note that the administrators of some of these pages have reacted quickly by condemning these theories, or even by temporarily closing the comments.

By default, Twitter is set to Pacific Time

The explanation is however most trivial: by default, Twitter is set at Pacific time, that is to say nine hours earlier than the French time. Several captures show the same image, from BFM-TV, where we see a tweet from the prefecture of the Great East calling to avoid the affected area, and dated 11:47.

This tweet, still online, is actually dated 20 h 47.

But just a few settings (open the tweet in a tab in private browsing for example) to get the same message dated 11:47:

A classic process, especially in such circumstances

It did not take more to some to convince themselves that their intuitions of a “Plot” or a ” handling “ were right. A classic process, especially in such circumstances. After'attack of Charlie Hebdo, For several days, thousands of Internet users had been able to build an entire theory from the mirrors of the vehicle used by the Kouachi brothers. Images seemed to show them sometimes white, sometimes black. They were actually chrome, and reflected their environment differently depending on the angles of view.

Logically, there is a principle called “Occam razor”: “Entities must not be multiplied more than necessary”, or, more simply “The simplest solution is often the best”. Here, it is a question of choosing between two versions: that of an attack as it has already occurred much in France; and the hypothesis of a conspiracy involving the state, but also the entire media, conspiracy revealed by accident because of a tweet supposedly written in advance. The simplest solution seems to be leaning towards the first hypothesis.

Find our content on the shooting in Strasbourg


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