We Worked Together on the Internet. Last Week, He Stormed the Capitol.

We Worked Together on the Internet. Last Week, He Stormed the Capitol.


“His politics have been guided by platform metrics,” reflected Andrew Gauthier, who was a top video producer at BuzzFeed and later worked for Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign. “You always think that evil is going to come from movie villain evil, and then you’re like — oh no, evil can just start with bad jokes and nihilistic behavior that is fueled by positive reinforcement on various platforms.”

And so Mr. Gionet’s story isn’t quite the familiar one of a lonely young man in his bedroom falling down a rabbit hole of videos that poison his worldview. It’s the story of a man being rewarded for being a violent white nationalist, and getting the attention and affirmation that he’s apparently desperate for.

We spent a lot of time at BuzzFeed thinking about how…



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