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Recall that extremist networks and groups,including the groups that purvey conspiracy theories, typically suffer from a kind of
crippled epistemology. Hearing only conspiratorial accounts of government behavior,
their members become ever more prone to believe and generate such accounts.
Informational and reputational cascades, group polarization, and selection effects suggest
that the generation of ever-more-extreme views within these groups can be dampened or
reversed by the introduction of cognitive diversity. We suggest a role for government
efforts, and agents, in introducing such diversity. Government agents (and their allies)
might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to
undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises,
causal logic or implications for political action.