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The Rage of the Incels

The Rage of the Incels

Read more on The New Yorker

Contributions

  • This piece about “Incels” (short for involuntarily celibate) is a must-read. I first heard the term myself on YouTube—as great as that platform is, it’s a community that tends to attract some of the most awful fringe elements of society. They naturally find my content because it relates to sex, so I’ve

    This piece about “Incels” (short for involuntarily celibate) is a must-read. I first heard the term myself on YouTube—as great as that platform is, it’s a community that tends to attract some of the most awful fringe elements of society. They naturally find my content because it relates to sex, so I’ve seen some of the indoctrination described. It’s very real, very scary, and has even led to violence, as we’ve seen with Incels committing acts of terrorism. (Aside from the incidents in this piece, the recent Toronto attack was also committed by someone who posted about the Incel rebellion.)

  • A question oft posed by AskReddit, where users post questions to the broader community, is on identifying the most disturbing or effed up subreddit (a term referencing a specific community on Reddit). r/incels always shows up near the top. That’s how I first came across this group of people. Curious

    A question oft posed by AskReddit, where users post questions to the broader community, is on identifying the most disturbing or effed up subreddit (a term referencing a specific community on Reddit). r/incels always shows up near the top. That’s how I first came across this group of people. Curious, I did a little digging...

    They’re deeply miserable, lonely, self-hating, but have managed to turn all that into blaming others (women) for causing their unhappiness. And what was interesting about the sliver of the community I saw (and a sliver was all I could take) was that there were those who were more radical who were actually rejected by others in that community.

    If I remember correctly, the most radical ones split off to form their own community, posting the most horrific photos, videos, rants, etc. Though their ideas were rejected by the “main” incel community, these hyper radical ones found each other and had a closed feedback loop in which they encouraged each other to become even more outraged and entrenched in their hatred. How this kind of loop and echo chamber results in actual violence is similar to how lonely teenagers get sucked into a terrorist organization like ISIS.

    The internet has done wonders for the world, but it’s also made it so much easier for negativity to amplify and for people who need help to radicalize and go down a dark road. We should use the powers of the internet to find these kinds of people and figure out ways to help, not just shudder in fear and disgust.