The Internet Never Met a Rothschild Conspiracy It Can’t Love

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

In 1990, computer scientists at the Swiss-based research center CERN developed the rudiments of what would become the modern world wide web with still-foundational concepts like HTML, HTTP, and the URL. They also created the first website, You can still browse it, even though it’s pretty crude by modern standards.

CERN made the software to create websites public domain in 1993, and the internet’s first conspiracy theory site probably popped up seconds later.

When conspiracy theory culture moved online, it was following a pattern of early crank adoption of new technology, from easy duplication of photos fueling the Dreyfus Affair to home video equipment making it easier to make and distribute conspiracy films. On bulletin board systems, email lists, Yahoo groups, blocky websites on long-gone providers, and text-based forums like USENET, conspiracy theories flourished. They grew so quickly that the USENET group alt.conspiracy was already getting nearly a hundred thousand monthly views as early as July 1994, making it one of the most popular parts of the early web.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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