February 1, 2023 | VICE

The incel Wiki page, a clean slate or a recruitment attempt?

A recent ISD investigation on the incel Wiki found how self-identified incels (“involuntary celibates”) were behind the curating and editing of the online encyclopedia page as an attempt to take control over their image, as well as possibly appeal to outsiders curious about the community. Head of Communications and Editorial and co-author of the investigation, Tim Squirrell, features in VICE News speaking about the findings and the varying content tones throughout the page.

“There has been a conflict from the very beginning between people who see this as a source of objective knowledge about the world and people who see this as, to quote one of them, ‘their one chance to black pill the normies,’” he said. “So the idea isn’t just that you’re providing material which explains how incels see the world, but that you want to provide material that explains why that is correct and why that is scientifically accurate.”

Tim explained how this can be a dangerous space for young men seeking help or support for their mental health. “I tend to describe it as the world’s worst support group because it’s all people who are validating your worst insecurities. Telling you not only that you’re right, actually everything is bad, but it’s worse than you ever thought and you are doomed from the very start and you might as well just kill yourself,” he said. “Then sometimes they’ll link to a forum that provides you with detailed instructions on how you can do just that.”

ISD found that the page received over 500,000 visits per month in late 2022.