A conspiracy theory that suggests King Charles III‘s security guards use prosthetic arms and hands has gone viral online.
The theory was first presented to TikTok by a man named Jason (@jase_the_ace), who thinks the guards’ “real hands” are wrapped around loaded guns concealed under their suit jackets. The video has amassed over 27 million views and sparked a debate between those who say the theory is “common knowledge” and those who think Jason is grasping at straws. You can watch the full video here.
Conspiracy theories have become “more widespread” and “more dangerous” in the past decade, Kathryn Olmsted, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, told NPR.
“There are so many conspiracy theories on the internet. The scale is astounding,” added Joan Donovan, research director at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. “We’ve come to start [thinking] about it as an attack on the supply chain of information because lies at that scale do displace truthful narratives.”
Many people have long dismissed conspiracy theories as “fringe beliefs;” however, a December NPR/Ipsos poll revealed this might not be true. For example, the poll found that nearly one in 10 respondents think the moon landing was fake. Additionally, 12 percent of people said they believe mass shootings in recent years were staged hoaxes, and 19 percent of people believe the theory that former President Barack Obama was born outside of the U.S.
Not all conspiracy theories are “dangerous,” such as believing in Bigfoot. And it appears Jason’s new conspiracy concerning the King’s guards isn’t so harmful either, though it has incited a heated debate.
The King’s Guards
Jason’s video uses footage of the king greeting Londoners outside Buckingham Palace. The man standing to the king’s left, presumably a guard or assistant, has clasped his hands together, a standard pose. But Jason thinks the scene looks “suspicious.”
“The hand he is holding looks suspicious,” the video’s narrator said. “It looks to be inanimate.”
Jason then draws viewers’ attention to another guard with a bulging jacket.
“[His] open palm grip doesn’t change at all,” notes the video’s narrator.
As previously mentioned, some commenters said Jason’s theory wasn’t a theory but rather a commonly-known fact.
“This is not a new thing,” Gavin said. “Security teams have been doing this for years.”
“This is standard practice for security/bodyguards,” one user claimed.
Louis added: “Well done bro, you found what everyone already knew.”
Others were less convinced.
“Bro people make conspiracies about everything,” Dominic said.
“Y’all come up with the most random things,” Mr. Unknown commented.
One user asked: “Are you okay?”
Newsweek reached out to Jason for comment.
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