From QAnon to WallStreetBets: The rise of the online mob

February 17, 2021 ☼ extremismmobs

Source: The Washington Post - Link

The chaos of WallStreetBets and the QAnon-fueled storming of the U.S. Capitol showcased the reality-shaping power of Internet communities. Who’s supposed to stop them when they go too far?


That hands-off approach could allow other chaotic movements to spiral out of control, and experts are calling for more corporate accountability, public regulation and industry oversight to keep potentially problematic communities in line.

Reddit’s former interim chief executive Ellen Pao echoed that concern, noting that the private companies that shape and shelter these movements benefit financially from viral distribution and user devotion.

“How do you encourage humanity and authenticity in an environment where you’re rewarding engagement based on outrage and extremism?” she said.

The internet has fostered this phenomenon. We need to find a way to curb this. I do not have a solution.