In the days following the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria that prompted the United States, France and the UK to launch a joint air strike offensive in response last week, a predictable Russian effort was put into motion to control perceptions of the event throughout the world on social media.

In the face of this effort, the United States and its allies attempted to counter using facts, evidence, and logical reasoning — much of which fell on deaf ears among people who had already gotten a whiff of the sort of juicy conspiracy the internet loves: ripe with international intrigue, the potential for global conflict, and all the same characters we grew up seeing on TV.

In a certain light, much of the American response to these strikes on social media has been disheartening. Despite months of debate about Russian influence campaigns within the United States, it would seem that the nation’s public has learned little about how these campaigns operate and the roles Americans play in expanding their influence. Witty memes, talking points, and conspiratorial claims of evidence that doesn’t exist washed across platforms like Facebook and Twitter like a tidal wave, with most sharing these pictures and ideas while utterly ignorant of where they came from.

Why share them? Often because these claims supported a position the person already held, other times it was because of the person’s inherent distrust for the American president or for interventionist action but mostly, it’s because human beings just love a conspiracy.