Pulling The Thread


Follow Pulling the Thread on LinkedIn for project updates, and more information on conspiracy theories as they unravel today.

Pulling the Thread is a digital documentary series and engagement campaign that unravels some of America’s most popular conspiracy theories and reveals the emotional, cognitive and social forces that lead rational people to believe irrational things. Co-produced with public media’s Independent Television Service (ITVS) and set to premiere on their new Storycast digital platform, the project doesn’t tell people what to think, but pushes us to examine how we think — why conspiracy theories are so alluring, how baseless rumors and “fake news” undermine trust and democracy — and what we can all do about it.

While experts across the country scramble to create tools to help us separate truth from fiction, Pulling the Thread attacks fake news at the source by exploring the very roots of human belief and the cognitive vices that make us vulnerable to disinformation. The project reveals how our brains are wired to make common errors and gravitate toward baseless but comfortable fictions that reinforce our values, our self-image and our social status. By unraveling our own psychological, biological and social webs, Pulling the Thread pushes us to think critically about how we think, provides strategies for managing our cognitive shortcomings and helps make facts matter again.