People display Qanon messages on cardboards during a political rally in Bucharest, Romania on Aug. 10, 2020.
The QAnon conspiracy movement is the latest in a long line of moral panics that emerge as a response to change. False theories are used to undermine claims to social justice raised by marginalized groups.
Are cats really to blame for the worldwide loss of biodiversity?
Dzurag/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Framing cats as responsible for declines in biodiversity is based on faulty scientific logic and fails to account for the real culprit – human activity.
Matthew Tomlinson’s diary is full of insights into Georgian England.
Matthew Tomlinson deplored the execution of a naval surgeon for sodomy, writing that the death penalty was cruel and unfair.
Woman walks past the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.
Exotic and sensational depictions of Chinese “wet markets” may prevent a proper and efficient understanding of how viral diseases emerge.
It may not be science fiction anymore.
We worry about AI developing consciousness, but brain organoids may be more likely to do so.
Did ancient Egyptian parents worry their kids might get addicted to this game, called senet?
Keith Schengili-Roberts/Wikimedia Commons
Somewhere between the early Buddhist times and today, worries about game addiction have given way to scientific understanding of the benefits of play, rather than its detriments.
A new study suggests LGB teachers in rural schools far likelier to have depression or anxiety than those in towns or cities.
‘Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!’ was a funky, lighthearted alternative to the action cartoons that, for years, had dominated Saturday morning lineups.
Demands for regulation of media violence reached a fever pitch after RFK's assassination, and networks scrambled to insert more kid-friendly fare into their lineups. Enter: the Mystery Machine.
The favourite to become the next prime minister has never felt the need to apologise for his offensive remarks about Muslim women.
Sleep deprivation among teens spiked after 2012 – just as smartphone use became common.
Some say the hysteria over screen time echoes parents' worries that their kids were watching too much TV in the 1980s. But new studies show there's nothing overblown about parents' growing concern.
Nitrous oxide has been used as an anaesthetic for over 100 years.
Media-driven panic about drugs can create a perception more people are using the drug than they actually are, and when teens think 'everyone' is doing it, they are more likely to want to do it too.
Are these people suffering from a disorder – or just having fun?
AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
Just because people enjoy a recreational activity doesn't mean they're addicted to it, even if they spend lots of time doing it.
In 2016, a UK Home Affairs Committee report highlighted that street-based sex work has diminished significantly over the last two to three decades.
Consensual sex work, like non-commercial sex, mostly happens behind closed doors. Yet stigma toward and ignorance about sex workers makes people panic when we try to talk about reform.
Should children under the age of 13 be given access to smartphones?
Teaching fear and avoidance of technology may protect people from negative consequences. But it also prevents them from finding, and benefiting from, productive uses of new innovations.
Only one Australian suburb, Lakemba in Sydney, has a population that is more than half Muslim.
Local neighbourhoods where Asians and Muslims form a majority are almost entirely concentrated in Australia’s two major cities – Sydney and Melbourne.
Walt Disney Studios
Objections from certain sectors of Malaysian society to the film neatly illustrates both the fear and lack of understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the country.
Ravers party hard even when surrounded by police – but the law is not on their side.
The 20th century saw battle lines drawn between music-driven youth movements and the state like none before.
A blueprint for ISIS – and for a video game? Camp Bucca, Iraq.
Does including torture or other human rights violations in video games trivialize the actions? Or might it force us to think more critically about them?
We talk about food with moralising – and judgemental – language.
Locavore, freegan, kangatarian, flexitarian ... what we eat has become a moral minefield. Religions have long enforced food-related prohibitions, but in a secular context we could do with a little less moralising at the kitchen table.
Despite challenges, Indonesia’s LGBT community continues to fight for its rights.
A recent onslaught against gays and lesbians in Indonesia shows a fresh wave of moral panic over homosexuality in the world's most populous Muslim country.