Because the IDW thrives on consumer popularity rather than peer scrutiny, it doesn’t have mechanisms for sorting out the worthwhile stuff from the trash. The burden is on the consumer to decide to what extent the dark web pundits have something valuable to offer or to what extent they’re "enlightenment peddlers."
One of the problems with the Intellectual Dark Web, in common with other online, non-academic outlets for discussing big ideas, is that it doesn’t have have any effective mechanisms for intellectual quality control. With this in mind, I’ve assembled a twelve-point checklist for evaluating what you might come across on the IDW and beyond.
The Intellectual Dark Web has developed into an academic counterculture, with an enormous and rapidly growing fan base. While it’s wonderful that there are sites where taken-for-granted orthodoxies can be challenged in accessible ways, I have grave concerns about the way that this movement is unfolding.