Founder of ‘Birds Aren’t Real’ conspiracy debunks ‘drone surveillance’ myth

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The leader of the bizarre ‘Birds Aren’t Real’ conspiracy theory has revealed that it is a hoax, and claimed he aims to tackle misinformation.

The ‘Birds Aren’t Real’ group sprang up in the wake of Donald Trump’s election in 2016, and is largely supported by young people online and claims that birds are fake, having been replaced by drones.

An extensive FAQ section on the group’s websites lists a number of spoof claims, including that over 12 billion birds were destroyed in a genocide between 1959 and 2001, and states that the eggs we see are robotic replicas.

But, now, speaking to The New York Times’ Daily podcast, the group’s founder has admitted that the scheme is a hoax, intended to highlight dangerous misinformation.

In a recent episode, a former technology reporter for the New York Times, Taylor Lorenz, shared her interview with the group’s founder, where he revealed that the movement is all a big joke.

Peter McIndoe, a 23 year-old College drop-out explained how he had noticed pro-Trump protestors at a women’s march shortly after Donald Trump’s election, when he hit upon the idea for ‘Birds Aren’t Real’.

The former student remembered taking a blank poster and writing the “three most random words” he could think of – ‘birds aren’t real' – before joining the counter-protestors.

“I didn’t even think about it too hard, I just started talking about how I was part of a movement that had been around for over 50 years, and telling people that every bird in the sky is a government surveillance drone,” he explained.

And, when a video of his bizarre protest went viral online, Peter decided to take the prank even further, setting up social media accounts and adopting a ridiculous persona at rallies.

“People will come to these rallies in the hundreds,” Peter admitted. “I think in some ways it almost operates as a safe space for people.”

"I think 'Birds Aren't Real' invented a new form of counter-protesting."

He went on to describe how amid the “chaos” of the internet, the group’s followers had used its bizarre claims to find their own way of interpreting the madness.

“It allows people to come together and laugh at these things that in everyday life are terrifying,” Peter suggested.

So, with the movement gathering speed, Taylor speculated that Peter had now chosen to come clean because of a fear of attracting real conspiracy theorists who might actually believe in the concept of birds being fake.

But, despite confessing the truth to the New York Times, Peter continues to represent the group's nutty theories as fact, even selling merchandise on their website and pretending to vomit during a TV interview.

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  • Donald Trump
  • Drone
  • Space
  • Conspiracy theories

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