Friends can be family

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1. Inform yourself well:

Before looking for a conversation, you should first make yourself as knowledgeable as possible. Those who understand the mechanisms of conspiracy belief are also better protected from them.

Further information on conspiracy myths can be found, for example, on the website of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the European Commission or the State Center for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg.

2. Speaking instead of writing:

It is important to have a face-to-face conversation. Especially at the beginning of the conversation, you should avoid direct confrontation as much as possible. Because this could harden the fronts. It is better to listen to the statements and allegations first in peace.

3. Asking questions, making offers:

Dismissing the other person's thoughts as absurd or pure nonsense is not effective. Even with logic and facts, one often gets stuck with conspiracy theories. Open questions about the belief in conspiracies usually lead to the other person reflecting on his or her thoughts.

Instead, recommend, for example, literature, podcasts or films on the topic, so that they can deal with the topic again in peace and quiet. This gives him or her the opportunity to allow doubts and, if necessary, to find their way out of the conspiracy thinking. The interview can then be offered again at the next opportunity.

4. Get help:

In individual cases it can be right to get help, for example if people put themselves or others in direct danger. Then contact the local advice center. In some federal states there are special advice centers for this, for example in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia or Berlin.

Sources: Dr. Michael Blume (Anti-Semitism Commissioner for the State of Baden-Württemberg), Federal Agency for Civic Education.