Conspiracy theories take root in Italy, survey shows

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One out of 10 Italians think astronauts never set foot on the moon while 5.8% believe the earth is flat, according to a poll published on Friday, which said conspiracy theories had taken root in Italian society.

The Censis research institute survey, which questioned 1,200 people, also showed that 19.9% of the adult population thought 5G wireless technology was a sophisticated way of controlling people’s minds.

Almost two years after the coronavirus was first discovered in Italy, the poll said 5.9% of respondents did not believe the virus existed, 10.9% said vaccines were useless and 12.7% said science did more harm than good.

“Rationality … gives way in many cases to an unreasonable readiness to believe in the most improbable fantasies,” Censis said in a statement accompanying the survey.

Although the vaccination campaign has been broadly successful in Italy, with almost 77% of residents fully inoculated, almost one third of those interviewed said they thought the vaccines were experimental drugs.

Some 64.4% of Italians thought big multinationals were “responsible for everything that happens to us”.

A file photo of a protest during the demonstration of the ‘Mascherine Tricolori’ movement to say ‘No to a new lockdown’ at Piazza Campo dei Fiori during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic emergency in Rome, Italy. EPA-EFE/ANGELO CARCONI

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