Conspiracies of Notre Dame Cathedral

Conspiracies come out after fire severely burns Notre Dame Cathedral

George Hodan

By Joshua Frank, Staff Writer

Even before the blaze at Notre Dame was extinguished, conspiracy theories and fake news about the fire circulated around the internet. Some examples of this misinformation started in the darker corners of the internet, but many found bigger audiences on social media. Lots of theories come mainly from Reddit, Twitter and 4chan. One main conspiracy theory revolved around the claim that the fire had been deliberately started.

Notorious sites known for being sources of fake news have begun crowdfunding trips to Paris to investigate links between the Notre Dame fire and potential terrorist plots. While many of these stories are being pushed by anonymous users and accounts online, some have originated among verified Twitter users who are journalists, ex-politicos, and social commentators.

Social media users with large followings helped promote the conspiracy theories, with some attempting to blame racial or religious minorities for the outbreak of the fire. Beyond misinformation, racist narratives and ironic posts about minority groups committing arson have spread across the internet. Muslims are being targeted in claims from across social media, with false claims that they were engaging with Facebook posts about the fire.

What is known about the Notre Dame fire at this point is still in question. As the blaze only started roughly twelve hours ago, it will likely take days until they have the true cause of the fire. There was construction going on at Notre Dame when the fire came out, so this is one possible cause of the fire. However, any claims around arson, foul play, or racist plots are entirely fake and unverified. As long as the internet provides a platform for conspiracy theories to flourish, these false stories will continue to take hold.