WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters interact with Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By DAVID KLEPPER Associated Press

As public trust in democratic institutions declines, conspiracy theories are filling the void. In some cases, that’s leading believers to doubt even their own allies. Last weekend in Boston, about 100 masked men carrying fascist flags marched through the city and later posted vides and photos online. But some of their own allies second-guessed the event, insisting it must have been FBI agents in disguise. It’s just one example of experts who study public trust say it will take extensive efforts by educators, government officials and technology companies to address the erosion of trust.