In 2014, the internet hate campaign, known as the #Gamergate scandal, infiltrated the forums of 4chan to the comment threads of Twitter. Brianna Wu, a well-known software engineer and guest on today’s episode, was thrust into the centre of the Gamergate saga following her outspoken criticism of the movement. We discuss how this fringe group coalesced into a legitimate movement, how law enforcement responded to threats, and the lessons we can take away from this conspiracy theory going forward. Her story is supplemented by a discussion with Professor Joseph Uscinski, an American political scientist from the University of Miami, on what role –– if any –– social media platforms play in spreading conspiracy theories.

Media Minded explores the bizarre world of misinformation and conspiracies. Following on from the success of the first season in 2019, each episode platforms a different subject who has previously been a victim of, or a willing participant in, a conspiracy theory… but these lines may be more blurred than you think. Ex-cultists, anti-vaxxers and more describe their slow descent into the untrue, and those who experience the brunt of the lies and hatred explain the effect that the proliferation of these ideas has. All the while, industry-leading academics and experts provide theoretical justifications for the actions taken by all parties.

Presented by Matteo Bergamini
Edited and recorded by Sabina Mckenzie Brown.

This podcast is made possible thanks to the kind support and sponsorship of the US embassy in London.