I do sports.
This one specifically is over 40 pages long. I read it and I will summarize it.
In this study, they coined the term “alternative influence network”. This term is referred to the people that are political influencers and “sell” far-right ideology. They drew a hilarious map of all these political commentators. They tried to show a line that follow something like this:
If you’re watching Jordan Peter, next you’re watching Dave Rubin and then you’re going over to roaming millennial and then… *BAM* you are into the Na**is. You start off with a harmless video, but, before you know, you are completely radicalized!
So, what do they base this analysis on? This is based on that this commentators collaborate. Everybody on YouTube collaborate, who would have thought? (Irony). So stupid… Most of these names. as far as I’ve deduced are not even far-right commentators. This is just a label to put on them for the sake of convenience. By that measure, I am surprised I was not included (PewDiePie, not me). A lot of times people call me far-right, even though I have never explicitly said any right wing political view beyond any social politics.
This whole this whole map reminds me of that meme where the football coach touches his balls and then it is the same thing as the map. Really great study. They also enforcing that YouTube “must respond”. They must respond with policies against these influencers. So this study is not just a study, it is also a call to action.
I could go into deep details but no one cares. They talk about how mainstream legacy media have built credibility through fact-checking (while this study gets simple facts wrong drawing lines between collaborations and interactions that have never occurred), they also talk about how these YouTube influencers use controversy to sort of boost themselves and for monetary gains (which of course mainstream media has never done). Literally, The Verge headline about this study was: “How white supremacists are thriving on YouTube”. And that is not what this study is saying, even if they tried to reach that sentiment.
They also point out, I counted eight times, how they focus on luring in young audiences. It is all about tricking those young kids into becoming radicalized in these different ideas. Political commentators on YouTube don’t exist to do that, they exist because people want to consume them. People like to hear about other people’s take on things, because they cannot get it anywhere else. A lot of times mainstream media have the exact same take on things and you must dig deeper to get the full story. In addition, it is the same thing with reviews of any sort. I think there has been a shift where people want to hear what other people are saying. I’d much rather hear a YouTube reviewer talk about a video game, than faceless company evaluating a game.
A lot of these political commentators on YouTube are a lot more cut-and-dry. You either pick the virtuous stance or you take the stance that you believe is more objective. There is just nothing in-between. A lot of these social politics just feel like a schoolyard banter in a grown-up manner: -You are bad. -No, you are bad. All about who is evil and who is not.
I am Kate Riley and you’ve just been riled up.