‘Social media has elevated misogyny to new levels of violence’
When Donna Zuckerberg, sister of Mark, began probing the dark underbelly of online antifeminism, she found far-right men’s groups were using classical antiquity to support their views. She is hoping her new book can be a catalyst for change
Donna Zuckerberg didn’t expect to spend two years trawling through the corner of the internet defined as “the manosphere”, unpicking the grim alliance between pick-up artists, men’s rights activists, incels (involuntarily celibate men), the far right and the most ardent Make America Great Again advocates.
“It started as a curiosity,” she says, as we video call from her home in Silicon Valley, which she shares with her husband and two children. “But it took on a life of its own.” A classicist with a PhD from Princeton, Zuckerberg edits the online journal Eidolon, publishing scholarly essays on the GrecoRoman world from academics and students.
In the summer of 2015, she noticed an unprecedented level of traffic towards a piece entitled “Why is stoicism having a cultural moment?” and went down a rabbit hole to determine why. The results stunned her: