Fantastic discussion (podcast) between Whitney Phillips, scholar of online trolls, and Ezra Klein. It’s presented as explaining 45 but really, it’s a fascinating history of trolling, LoLz, the transition to the broader internet culture, then to culture period, and the weaponization of their methods.
She was studying trolling when it was a tiny sideshow. And she was there, studying it, as online trolling got amplified by algorithmic platforms and a click-hungry media. As Gamergate made it a political movement. Then, most importantly, she was there, watching, as the media manipulation tactics that she had seen perfected by the trolls became the playbook for how Trump controls the media’s agenda, and the national conversation.