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A ladder conspiracy can be distinguished from a "true" conspiracy, in that its members act alone, usually unaware that there are even other people working with them, they simply take an idea that someone else used, and if it is used by enough people it can qualify for the name. Despite this, a ladder conspiracy's behavior can often mimic that of a traditional conspiracy. For instance, the formerly popular prank phone call involving "Prince Albert In A Can". If an isolated Tobacco shop was called by one child, they would shrug it off, however, if the idea caught on, soon many children would be calling the same store, and although they were acting independantly, the owner of the shop may begin to feel that HE is the target of a conspiracy. A more modern example would be the Good Times Virus hoax, and all related false virus warnings.

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