It would take a lot for most parents to say that they don’t care what their child has to offer anymore. We hope the parents reading this can’t imagine what their child could do to make them use words that strong, and to anyone reading this who has heard that from their own parents, we hope you have escaped from their expectations and are moving past them. For this parent, the last straw had to do with a controversy that has experienced a disturbing rise in publicity in the last few years, and it’s probably a familiar picture to anyone who’s seen family members fall victim to conspiracy theories.
A screenshot shows a rant that a flat-Earther dad posted on Twitter after his son sent him a sarcastic comment and a link to an article about an Antarctic expedition.
A flat-Earther dad vented about this conflict with his son
The message concerned an Antarctic expedition
Image credits: colinobrady
Antarctica, for those who aren’t up on the lore, is a contentious topic to flat Earth theorists because in their most widespread model of the world, it is depicted as a ring around the edge of the circular flat Earth. That’s why the ocean doesn’t spill off the edge… obviously? There are various explanations as to why it cannot be approached and investigated, including armed NASA guards, says a journalist who attended a conference to get to the bottom of how theorists justify themselves.
To those who imagine Antarctica this way, going from one edge of it to another, which two explorers famously did on skis at the end of 2018 (they crossed a comparatively narrow part of the continent to avoid its dizzying ice plateau, which surpasses altitudes of 4,000 meters or 13,000 feet,) does not fit into their worldview.
A researcher who interviewed participants at a flat Earth conference agreed with what the aforementioned journalist also observed: most believers are won over by flat Earth discourse on Youtube. Thanks to the algorithm that shows you other videos you might be likely to watch based on your views, viewing one conspiracy video in a moment of curiosity meant being fed one after another. Youtube noticed the problem and made a statement last year that certain types of content would be de-prioritized from appearing in recommendations, making it more difficult to go down a rabbit hole of flat Earth analysis, as well as other potentially dangerous topics including anti-vaccine claims and denial of major historic events.
Journalists noted, based on speaking to flat Earth believers at conferences, that flat Earth and interest in other conspiracy theories often come as a package deal, due to one’s tendency upon losing trust in the scientifically accepted explanation of one phenomenon to start questioning others.