I'm not sure where to ask this question. Please let me know if this is not the best place. This is not specific to a language, but rather a concept.
Context: There is some news about some group of people being badly abused sometime somewhere.
Somebody, let's name them John Doe, was expressing their shock of learning such cruelty and social unrest was happening in that place.
I said something along the lines of "Similar things could be happening in other places but underreported."
Immediately this John Doe accused my statement as a conspiracy theory.
Is this accusation reasonable/justified? Is my statement a conspiracy theory? How do I express my pessimism without being labeled something bad? Or should I not have perceived this accusation as a negative thing?