If you thought the flat earth conspiracy was outlandish, you might want to sit down while I break down the very real group who is trying to bring down the “bird-geoisie.” “The Bird aren’t Real” movement was created by Peter McIndoe a college dropout in Memphis in 2017 for media performance reasons. The movement believes that birds are no longer real bird organisms rather drone-like machines mimicking this particular life form, for government surveillance use. Birds are Real, has seen a significant rise over the last few years on platforms like Instagram Twitter and Tik Tok, possibly due to the normalization of misinformation and citizen reporting. Just last month the group organized in protest outside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, in order to get the company to change their logo andmascott. What truly baffled me about researching this topic is the statements from key members of the movement stating they know the message is a joke but still fervently believe in the spreading of their message. Some members describe this phenomenon as a parody social movement, knowing that their particular claim is false but there overarching distrust in the government’s ability to handle survivance equipment to be the underlying and border issue. However, the contextualization to make this conspiracy theory real is anything but a joke. Leader Peter McIndoe, hired an actor to portray a former C.I.A. agent who confessed to working on bird drone surveillance. Although a lie the video has more than 20 million views on TikTok.He also hired multiple actors to play “adult bird truthers” in videos to boost support over Instagram. McIndoe, has gone as far as to create merch for the movement which he projects off over in order to pay for living expenses.
Although the idea of birds we see every day being mini gadgets to supply the government sounds like a laughable youtube video, this movement has proved the virality of misinformation. It will be interesting to see if they clout-chasing cults will become a new modern phenomenon or die off with the advancements of healthier news cycles.