In early 2016, the American rapper Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., better known as B.o.B, began posting dozens of tweets in which he claimed that the Earth is flat. “A lot of people are turned off by the phrase ‘flat earth’… but there’s no way u can see all the evidence and not know… grow up”, he tweeted, before presenting a range of arguments as to why science must be wrong. As an example, he argued that if the Earth were indeed curved, evidence of that curvature would be apparent when looking at the horizon in the distance: “No matter how high in elevation you are… the horizon is always eye level… sorry cadets… I didn’t wanna believe it either”. When cosmologist and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed out the inaccuracies in B.o.B’s argument, the rapper took to releasing a ‘diss’ track in which he said that Tyson needed “to loosen up his vest” and in which he called science a “cult” (Brait, 2016). It is difficult to know how many people actually believe the Earth is flat, but

what is clear is that flat-Earthdom occupies a similar space to other conspiracy theories. A conspiracy theory refers to a subset of false beliefs or narratives in which an omnipresent and omnipotent group of actors is said to be working together in pursuit of malevolent goals (Swami & Furnham, 2014). For flatEarthers, that group is sometimes claimed to be Jewish people, other times to be Freemasons (in his tweets, for example, B.o.B included an image that appeared to suggest that the heliocentric globe model was a Freemason conspiracy), or even a cult of scientists. In all cases the conspiracy theorist believes that their views are being suppressed and silenced for nefarious ends. What’s more, even before B.o.B came out in favour of the flat Earth theory, it was apparent that belief in conspiracy theories (broadly speaking) is a widespread and stable aspect of public opinion (Freeman & Bentall, 2017).