The spreading of misinformation, lies and conspiracy theories are not new and date back many hundreds of years. The rise of the internet has greatly increased the speed and geographical spread of information which is at best a simple misunderstanding all the way to the most egregious and dangerous falsehood. I definitely don't intend  to enter into discussion or debate about any of the current conspiracy theories but am comfortable sharing a little information about books that look at how conspiracy theories and misinformation takes hold and spreads in case any of you are interested.
Liars Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception. Cass R Sunstein.  
The book examines situations of misinformation that people genuinely believe to be true through to the outright lies that have the potential to create enormous harm. Should all or some of those be protected by free speech laws?  What if the lie is about a politician? Should they have more or less protection? Should there be punishment or should the solution be counter arguments? Does the Government have a role or should the social media platforms have responsibility? Very interesting and well researched but not a "read at one setting" sort of book.  
The Misinformation Age. Cailin O'Connor and James Weatherall. The authors deal with five key questions. How do we form beliefs, especially false ones? How do they persist? Why do they spread? What are false beliefs so intransigent, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? What can we do to change them? 
Suspicious Minds. Rob Brotherton. Why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and un-provable conspiracy theories. Everyone loves a good conspiracy. Yet conspiracy theories are not a recent invention. And they are not always a harmless curiosity.
Conspiracy Theories. A Primer. Joseph Uscinski. Everyone believes at least one, but given the number of conspiracy theories, it is more likely that everyone believes a few. Some people have a worldview defined by them. Conspiracy theories are just another reminder that people disagree about many things, including truth.