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The Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) is a loose collection of public intellectuals. It is akin to a social network of well-known but vaguely dissident people who all talk to each other despite holding different views.

IDW is a coinage of Eric Weinstein to describe figures who are influential (particularly in the online sphere) but who, according to him, are ignored by traditional media. In a video, he explained the reason for the name "intellectual dark web," and the double-meaning of "dark."


A New York Times article about the IDW popularized a specific grouping of individuals. People often considered to be part of the IDW are:

  • Sam Harris
  • Ben Shapiro
  • Jordan Peterson
  • Eric Weinstein
  • Bret Weinstein
  • Heather Heying
  • Joe Rogan
  • Dave Rubin
  • Michael Shermer
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Claire Lehman (Quilette)
  • Christina Hoff Sommers

Other individuals sometimes listed as part of the IDW are:

  • Jonathan Haidt
  • Douglas Murray
  • Maajid Nawaz
  • Steven Pinker
  • Debra W. Soh