New Research Quantifies the Emotional Energy Bound Up in Twitter Mobs

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Based on my experience, supplemented by careful and rigorous record-keeping, I have constructed an equation that describes the amount of emotional energy contained in various forms of impersonal nastiness:

In English: One nasty phone call is the equivalent of 50 nasty emails or 2,500 nasty tweets. Basically, a nasty tweet is all but meaningless. The bandwagon effect is so powerful on weak minds, and the effort required is so minuscule, that an outraged tweet is equivalent to only a tiny fraction of a nasty phone call. Nasty emails are somewhere in between. Keep this in mind if you ever get a barrage of nasty tweets.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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