How can I help to stop alt right hate channels on you tube?

Submitted by blue_pigeon in AskRaddle

I have been growing up in a white conservative small town dumpsterfire which I am currently trying to escape. Since there’s not really any kind of queer or leftist community here I don’t have anyone to exchange my thoughts with in real life at the moment. That being said please don’t be super harsh on me if my thoughts are dumb or uneducated but also I really appreciate being called out for biases. Also English isn’t my first language but I‘ll try my best.

I‘ve been watching a lot of you tube videos by feminist, leftists, trans people, anarchists etc and noticed all the channels I’ve been following have at least one “let’s point out the biases on these white supremacist/ alt right/ nazi channels”. One that a lot of people talk about is the amazing atheist and how he was bashing that 14 year old (?) trans person for pointing out all white people have racist biases we need to work on. So a lot of people seem to watch and enjoy those leftist videos but that’s where it ends. I haven’t seen attempts to do anything against the alt right channels except for uploading videos that are going to be watched by a leftist fan base that already disagrees with the amazing atheist and others alike. I checked out some of those alt right channels after all the leftist reaction videos they still have about 30 dislikes per video and the comments are overwhelmingly supportive. Compare that to the queer people they are terrorizing- some don’t have comments for their videos available due to the harassment or deleted their accounts all together. I feel like the alt right channels will not be persuaded with arguments, they need to be attacked, flooded with criticism or shut down or they will never stop. I know dudes who watch these videos and I even have some racists/sexists/ homophobes in my own family. My brother recently got sucked in to the alt right part of you tube and he’s completely brainwashed it’s terrifying. These channels are really dangerous and they create dangerous people and this needs to stop. Free speech is great and all but they don’t care about it so why should we be nice to them. I don’t know how to go about this the best way. I just really want to do something about it. Please let me know if there are people who already trying to take care of the problem or if you have other ideas. Thanks a lot.



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indi wrote

I think the answer is quite simple: Support the good channels.

The reason there's so much right wing garbage on YouTube is because the fans of right wing garbage support it. They view the videos, they share the videos, they rate the videos, they comment, and - most importantly - they pay for it: they give money to the creators' Patreons and whatnot, they buy swag, and so on.

YouTube is a business, and most right wing agitators are just opportunistic assholes in it for the green. Right wing shit thrives because right wing shit makes money. If left wing stuff started making money - and especially if it started making more money than right wing crap - you just watch how fast YouTube stops promoting their videos or tolerating their shit; they will fall over themselves to be the next big business that "takes a principled stand" against Nazis and other bigots on their platform. And you just watch how many right wing channels quickly switch to fishing for lefties by changing their tone.

When I say "support", I don't mean just with money - viewing, sharing, liking, and commenting is very important too. But yes, money is an important part of support. Making content for YouTube is not free, so the more you can help support the voices you like, the more content they can make. And that will have a snowball effect.

For all its many flaws, the alt-right has always been very good at supporting its voices (I mean, up until they point that they're no longer useful to the movement - then they dump them like old garbage). Even when its factions despise each other, they still come together to support stuff they like. The left? We can't really get our shit together. We don't cooperate all that well. And we don't really support our best or most prominent voices. There are a lot of reasons why this is so - for example, the right is authoritarian so they'll support whoever their "leaders" tell them to, whereas the left doesn't really put that much stock in "leaders", let alone following their instructions... but there are also structural reasons, such as that the people who care most about left-wing stuff are often the most marginalized and least powerful, while righties have the powers-that-be in their corner - but the bottom line is the right pays for their shit - both in money, and in views/clicks/likes/shares - while the left generally doesn't.

Now, all this said, while it is theoretically true that if lefties all started supporting left-wing content as much as or more than right-wingers support right-wing content, that would quash the right-wing dominance of platforms like YouTube... I have no idea whether that would actually work in practice. There are a lot of powerful forces behind right-wing voices and right-wing messages, and the platforms are generally susceptible to the kinds of power they wield. The power of the right is money, authority, established networks and power structures... all things that can easily sway the executives at a for-profit company. Meanwhile the power of the left mostly lies in being correct and in touch with reality, and in the long-term inevitability of what they're fighting for... but those things mean fuck all to the decision-makers at YouTube.


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I don't want to be a wingnut conspiracy theorist, but I think it's important to consider that the alt-right often aligns itself with market libertarians. In turn, market libertarians support policies favorable to the plutocracy.

So... I wouldn't be surprised if the propaganda arms of the conservatives are providing real financial support to these groups. "Hey, if I funnel money to these neonazis in a way that can't be traced back to me, it increases the chance that people who dismantle social programs will get elected! Lower taxes for me! Wooo!"


indi wrote (edited )

I don't think that's wingnut conspiracy theory at all. Even if there weren't any material support, I think we've all seen the dog-whistling and nudge-nudge-wink-wink normalizing support of Nazis, anti-immigrant groups, islamophobes, etc. by conservatives all over the world.

But when it comes to material support... we've actually seen evidence of that recently in Canada: there has been a string of people in the Alberta United Conservative Party outed for having Nazi connections - some of them were even running white supremacist businesses. And there have been a bunch of connections between the federal Conservative Party and far-right media - for example (and I may get the details wrong here because this was reported on a few months back and then... nothing) - the guy in charge of the Conservative election campaign was also one of the chiefs at The Rebel Media (basically the Canadian Breitbart), which has a huge YouTube channel and which, surprise surprise, is aggressively promoting the Conservative Party.

So yeah, I don't think there's anything nutty about this conspiracy at all; I think there's plenty of evidence that it's happening.

EDIT 2018-12-12: In just the two days since I posted the above, news has broken that the federal Conservative party may have ties to a business that was selling white supremacist swag, and their campaign manager has been pushing money to a far-right meme machine called "Ontario Proud". So I reiterate: not really that nutty a theory at all.


blue_pigeon OP wrote

Thanks that makes me feel a little less bad about not being able to do more. I’m trying to support people from different platforms as much as possible. I do patreon/ buy merch but I don’t have a lot of money since I can’t get a job yet. I just got really mad about all this. But I know a bunch of left people who actually seem to make quite a bit of money with it and have great support. I’ll stick to supporting those for now I guess. You’re right I wish that the entire left wing would cooperate a bit better... I hope we’ll make progress on that soon.


videl wrote

delete youtube

but seriously, I don't really think there's much anyone can do unless they're some YouTube VIP. If you were to engage with negative comments on those fascist videos It could actually end up promoting those videos more depending on how YouTube algorithms work.
Maybe organize some campaign to get advertisers to pull their ads.
Or you could support and bring more users to something like peertube.

personally, i just try to stay away from youtube and not feed the machine


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I think open source, distributed, decentralized alternatives to the social media and similar services today is probably the most important technological project of our time.

I mean, solving world hunger and ending cancer and so forth are more important. But using centralized services like Youtube, Facebook, GMail, etc... keep power in the hands of people not interested in solving world hunger and interested in curing cancer but only for the mega-wealthy.


blue_pigeon OP wrote

I guess you’re right that interacting with these videos at all might just help them more... And sure I don’t have to watch any of this but it’s so frustrating to deal with the people who do... Thank you anyway:)