How dictators flourish through social media

What does the power of the online mob hold for tyranny and conformity?

Adolf Hitler. Still from 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger's recent critique of social media hate is indicative of a greater problem.
  • The psychology of the crowd could be responsible for the hate and conformity seen online.
  • Polymath Gustave Le Bon's crowd psychology theories could be more relevant today than ever.
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Politics & Current Affairs

‘Playing the victim’ is politically vital and morally serious

Victims are moral agents rather than moral patients.

A woman with her face painted with the feminist hand symbol attends a demonstration marking International Women's Day in Lisbon on March 8, 2019. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP/Getty Images)

Those who speak out against bad treatment are often dismissed as 'playing the victim', accused of dwelling on imagined slights or indulging in an exaggerated sense of grievance. In the face of ridicule or, worse, the threat of violence, it would be easier to keep quiet. And yet, victims of injustice often do speak up: far from any desire for glory, they are often morally motivated, and act from a sense of duty.

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Politics & Current Affairs

Vaccines in no way cause autism, massive new study finds

More vaccine-autism facts for the fact-averse.

(Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A massive new study finds absolutely no link between MMR vaccination and autism.
  • Some question the expenditure of yet more research money on convincing conspiracy theorists.
  • There are already 206 measles cases this year in the U.S., and the disease is up by 30% globally, despite previous near-eradication.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Why non-conformists always end up looking alike

Go ahead, try and be different.

Image source: WAYHOMEstudio / Shutterstock)
  • Anti-conformists have an odd way of ending up looking like each other.
  • A Brandeis mathematician looks at how this synchronicity occurs.
  • Understanding the mechanism behind non-conformist conformity has applications in other areas, like the stock market.
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Culture & Religion

Top 5 anarchist plots in American history

Throughout history, anarchists have been responsible for bombings and assassinations, including some very recent ones.

Flickr user Adam Cohn
  • Anarchism isn't always violent, but there's a reason why that stereotype has stuck.
  • Throughout history, anarchists have tried to bomb and assassinate different targets – including Barack Obama.
  • Here are 5 notable anarchist plots, ranging from centuries-old bombings to modern-day assassination attempts.
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Politics & Current Affairs