This body of research focuses, particularly, on the emerging vernacular design language in regards to conspiracy theory-related posts on Instagram: communications deployed by content creators to avoid fact-checking algorithms, and thus reduce the chance of being de-platformed. I am interested in the role conspiracy theories may have within the ‘authenticity of information’. The majority of the content featured in this research crosses the boundaries of Instagram’s community guidelines: guidelines which these ‘authors’ see as a method of silencing their truth. While many conspiracy theories can easily be dismissed as the thinking of deranged, and sometimes potentially dangerous, fantasists, this research attempts to question where the future lines between censorship and safeguarding might be drawn. Using fiction, I am attempting to destabilise the traditional motifs of conspiracy theories (while not entirely abandoning all reference to them), expanding the domain into new territories. Through this act of ‘fictioning’, I have generated a series of personas that can be read as working methodologies for Instagram’s conspiratorial content creators. The personas are often interchangeable, with content creators able to adopt multiple personas at any one time.
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