On Backchannel she’s writing about the internal mechanisms of Gamergate-type personalities, and how their own insecurities make them aggressive, a very interesting read.
My first breakthrough came when I started studying bullying—when I started reading studies about why punitive approaches to meanness and cruelty backfire. It’s so easy to hate those who are hateful, and so hard to be empathetic to where they’re coming from. This made me double down on an ethnographic mindset that requires that you step away from your assumptions and try to understand the perspective of people who think and act differently than you do. I’m realizing more and more how desperately this perspective is needed as I watch researchers and advocates, politicians and everyday people judge others from their vantage point without taking a moment to understand why a particular logic might unfold.