Description of this podcast episode:
Here’s a fun fact: The best training for understanding the president’s media strategy is to have studied internet trolls for years and years.
Okay, maybe that fact wasn’t so fun. Maybe it’s incredibly depressing.
At any rate, Whitney Phillips did exactly that. She was one of the earliest scholars of online trolling (yes, that’s a job). 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.