Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Noah Smith

Sadism and the Online Mob

The Internet and social media make it easier for people to engage in vicious behavior toward one another.
A dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

A dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Slate magazine has a wonderful feature about online outrage, and you should check it out. You can read a story by someone whose career was wrecked by a careless tweet, or another by a writer who started a flood of outrage by accident. You can read about liberal outrage or conservative outrage.

But I think there’s an important aspect of outrage that the Slate writers mostly left out -- the connection between outrage and sadism.