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Where online 'spiritual gurus' go wrong

Everyone knows YouTube. YouTube is the largest video platform on this planet, with about 400 hours of video uploaded to the carrier each 2d.

However YouTube, of all of the present content material “platforms,” is arguably essentially the most fragmented. There is not any newsfeed, so there is no central position the place everybody — or apparently everybody — is accumulating. Because of this, communities shape on their very own, generally round channels or personalities, they usually have a tendency to be lovely insular.

This kind of communities shaped round somebody named Teal Swan. Swan is what you may name a “religious healer” or a minimum of somebody who believes herself to be that. Nevertheless it seems she has some very arguable ideas on many subjects, together with suicide, and numerous other people assume her teachings are doubtlessly destructive — and can have contributed to the suicide of somebody who adopted her carefully.

That is precisely what Jennings Brown, a senior reporter at Gizmodo, investigated in The Gateway, a six-part podcast that explores the sector of Swan, and the way self-described “gurus” can use nowadays’s virtual equipment and platforms to succeed in huge audiences, and every so often prone other people. Brown got here on Mashable’s MashTalk podcast to speak about his investigation and what he discovered.

What are the duties of the platforms right here? What about communities and people? And is there one thing mainstream services and products can glean about how those personalities domesticate dependable audiences? And the way are we able to assist the prone navigate an at-times unforgiving virtual tradition?

We tackle the ones tricky questions and extra. However when you or somebody you recognize is having suicidal ideas, please name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or textual content the Disaster Textual content Line at 741-741.

You’ll be able to subscribe to or , and we would admire it if it’s good to depart a assessment. Be happy to hit us with questions and feedback via tweeting to or attaching the #MashTalk hashtag. We welcome all comments.

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