despite the fact that the princess has spoken out, the conspiracy theories continue

Princess Kate's video announcing she has cancer hasn't stopped conspiracy theories on social media.

“This Kate Middleton video is clearly based on artificial intelligence.” The video of the Princess of Wales announcing she has cancer didn't put conspiracy theories to rest, instead putting a coin back in the machine.

Fueled by the somewhat haphazard communication from Kensington Palace combining a lack of information and the distribution of a photoshopped photo of the princess, these theories surfaced around the time Kate's surgery was announced. They have only grown since then.

And nothing today seems to be able to stop 'Kategate', not even the images of the princess that were released on Friday, March 22. On X or TikTok, many netizens assure that Kensington is lying to them and that the video was created by artificial intelligence and is a deepfake. Therefore, some on social networks insist that the princess is dead.

“No real evidence will quell this conspiracy fever,” predicted March 20 on Tristan Mendes-Francelecturer specializing in digital cultures, comparing the phenomenon to “a headless chicken that keeps running”.

“Facts no longer matter”

“The supply of conspiracy is increasing day by day,” the expert also noted. “This increase in the supply of theories strengthens the suspicion of a conspiracy rather than weakens it. This strengthens the suspicion of 'we are being lied to', 'the truth is being hidden from us', 'this is all being dramatized.'

Kensington did much to sow doubt in the public mind by broadcasting on March 10, Mother's Day in the UK, a photo of the princess surrounded by her three children, George, Charlotte and Louis. A rather crudely retouched photo, which had the opposite effect than expected. Instead of reassuring the public about Kate's health, it opened a rift into which the composite sphere rushed and cast doubt on the reliability of the information provided by the palace.

A few days later, a video of Kate and William at a farmers' market in Windsor – taken by a private person – hadn't put the theories to rest either. So many were convinced that she was not the princess, but a double. But it was not an official photo.

Kate's video posted on March 22 is not stolen, but an official video. It originates from Kensington and has been covered by the media around the world. But that's also not enough to placate some netizens, who are poring over the document for “proof” of cheating. “We can imagine anything with these liars,” reads an open anti-fax account on X, about Kate.

“Three months of speculation about Catherine is a sign that healthy doubt and questioning can easily be replaced by an inability to accept the slightest truth,” editor Ankita Rao already noted on March 20 in Guardian.

“Information Flood”

“In the absence of information, regardless of the topic, we have seen what can happen when the court of public opinion takes over the conversation. Even when the facts do arise, it may not “matter any more.”

The editor sees this as a symptom of a “post-truth world,” “a world where people are fed a deluge of information, most of which is true, some fabricated, and some in between.

For Bruce Daisley, the former head of Twitter in Europe, who gave an interview to The Times this Sunday, there is not much we can do against people who spread gossip and lies.

“The 'most concerning issue' that can be addressed is how X's algorithms allow questionable content to be distributed to users.”

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