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Where online 'spiritual gurus' go wrong

Everyone knows YouTube. YouTube is the most important video platform on this planet, with about 400 hours of video uploaded to the provider each 2nd.

However YouTube, of the entire present content material “platforms,” is arguably essentially the most fragmented. There is not any newsfeed, so there is not any central position the place everybody — or reputedly everybody — is collecting. Consequently, communities shape on their very own, normally round channels or personalities, and so they have a tendency to be beautiful insular.

This sort of communities shaped round any person named Teal Swan. Swan is what you could name a “religious healer” or no less than any person who believes herself to be that. But it surely seems she has some very debatable ideas on many subjects, together with suicide, and a large number of other people suppose her teachings are doubtlessly destructive — and could have contributed to the suicide of any person 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 arena of Swan, and the way self-described “gurus” can use these days’s virtual equipment and platforms to achieve huge audiences, and from time to time prone other people. Brown got here on Mashable’s MashTalk podcast to speak about his investigation and what he realized.

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

We tackle the ones difficult questions and extra. However if you happen to or any person 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 might admire it if that you must go away 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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