What Does IDW Mean in a Text?

IDW means "Intellectual Dark Web" and "I Don't Want." Here is more information about each of these definitions, with examples of use.

Intellectual Dark Web

image for IDW as Intellectual Dark Web, showing a network of dark figures

On social media and chat forums, IDW often means "Intellectual Dark Web." It refers to a loose grouping of intellectuals, writers, and commentators who engage with controversial ideas often sidelined by mainstream academic and media institutions. Coined by Eric Weinstein, the term captures the network's self-perceived role as dissenters who challenge conventional discourse. Key figures often mentioned in this context include Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, and Joe Rogan. Each contributes sometimes controversial viewpoints on cultural, political, and philosophical issues, utilizing digital platforms to reach a global audience.

Despite the term suggesting cohesion, the IDW is not a formal group but a categorization for individuals promoting open dialogue on sensitive topics, ranging from political correctness to free speech. The diversity within the grouping is significant, with members holding varied—and sometimes conflicting—ideological stances. For instance, while Sam Harris has participated in discussions with other IDW figures, he has explicitly critiqued the label and distanced himself from some of the collective's broader political implications. After the 2020 US presidential election, in response to statements by some of those considered members of the IDW that the election was stolen, Harris was quoted as saying he was "turn[ing] in [his] imaginary membership card to this imaginary organization."

The IDW's emergence highlights a growing public interest in alternative media channels as platforms for deep-dive conversations, reflecting a broader skepticism towards traditional gatekeepers of information. Its emergence intersects with broader trends in the media landscape, including a dissatisfaction with mainstream narratives and a turning towards alternative media sources. This has sometimes included an increased visibility and dissemination of ideas that can be associated with right-wing ideologies or conspiracy theories. However, it's important to distinguish between the individual members and perspectives within the IDW, as the views represented are quite diverse and not uniformly right-wing or conspiratorial. While some discussions may entertain or delve into theories that gain traction predominantly on the political right, this is not universally true for all involved or for the entirety of the content they produce.
  • Cal: Everyone around me had been brainwashed by Bill Gates and woke leftists.
  • Jo: Of course! And you haven't been brainwashed at all by listening to Eric Weinstein and the rest of the IDW, obviously.

I Don't Want

image for IDW as I Don't Want, showing a disapproving face

In chat, "IDW" often stands for "I don't want." It is a concise way to express refusal or reluctance towards a suggestion, plan, or idea. This abbreviation is commonly used in text messages and online conversations to quickly communicate a lack of interest or agreement. For example:

  • Chris: There will be loads of free champagne.
  • Ali: IDW champagne. I want beer!
  • Lee: Does this shirt look okay?
  • Terri: IDW to be rude, but it's hideous.
IDW is very similar in meaning and use to IDWT ("I don't want to") and DNW ("Do not want").

Image for IDW

When I write IDW, I mean this:

meaning of IDW

IDW also means "Intellectual Dark Web."

Summary of Key Points for the First Definition

"Intellectual Dark Web" is a common definition for IDW on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Intellectual Dark Web
Guessability:guessability level 4

4: Difficult to guess

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Summary of Key Points for the Second Definition

"I Don't Want" is another common definition for IDW.
Definition:I Don't Want
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at IDW

image for academic look, showing a teacher with a mortar board

Whether used with the meaning "Intellectual Dark Web" or "I don't want," IDW is classified as an initialism abbreviation, as it is pronounced one letter at a time. Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are abbreviations spoken as words.

Other examples of initialisms are:
  • AI - "Artificial Intelligence."
  • EW - "Electronic Warfare."
For example:
  • GOAT - "Greatest Of All Time."
  • FANG - "Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google."

Example of IDW Used in a Text

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