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Kate-spiracies explode on internet – Times of India

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Kate Middleton has long been a magnet for unproven rumours: She pressured an art gallery to remove a portrait! She split from her husband! She changed her hairstyle to distract from pregnancy rumours! She did not give birth to her daughter!
This year, speculation kicked into overdrive. Middleton has lain low since Christmas. Kensington Palace said she was recovering from “a planned abdominal surgery”. Conspiracy theorists had other, more sinister ideas. The only explanation for the future queen’s long absence, they said, was that she was missing, dying or deceased, and that someone was trying to cover it up.
In her invented death, the princess joins a host of other celebrities and public figures – from President Joe Biden to Elon Musk – who scores of online detectives have declared in recent months to be clones, body doubles, artificial intelligence-generated avatars or otherwise not the living, breathing people they are.

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In recent weeks, frenzied online chatter claimed that Kate was dead or even in an induced coma. Internet sleuths declared that photos of Kate in cars with her mother and husband were actually another woman who lacked the princess’s facial moles. Another video of Kate and her husband at a store was combed over by conspiracy theorists who said she looked too blurry, too healthy, too thin, too flat-haired, too unprotected by bodyguards to really be the princess.

For many of the people, conspiracies are harmless fun. Others, however, spend “countless hours” on the pursuit, demanding celebrities provide proof of life. Whatever the motivation, what lingers is an urge to question reality, misinformation experts say.

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