VICE has a great article about the domination of the centre-right on Youtube and why that kicks the left-wing’s arse.
“Twitter is a tiny echo chamber. I’m not sure the left understand the monumental ass-whupping being dished out to them on YouTube.”
Thus reads a tweet posted this Tuesday by InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson, who you may remember best as the right-wing vlogger who inadvertently promised every journalist in the world a free holiday to Sweden.
As with most things PJW does nowadays, the tweet was immediately and widely mocked. But however fun mocking Watson might be, there was a curious hollowness to the whole affair. Because on this issue – breaking the habit of a lifetime – Paul Joseph Watson is right.
PJW’s tweet offers a sketch of the social media terrain that seems spot-on. Twitter isn’t wholly dominated by the left, but – Donald Trump and anyone with an egg avatar aside – left-wing views are certainly better-represented there than on any other major social network. However, left-wing Twitter has failed to translate into real-world influence. Twitter conversations aren’t very accessible to outsiders. The “echo chamber” trope is lazy and inaccurate – I’ve personally learnt a huge amount from people on Twitter, and often this has led to my political views changing as well. Nevertheless, Twitter lends itself best to the refinement of people’s views in conversation with people they already share some sympathy with. It’s an effective tool for dragging young Labour voters further left, perhaps, but not turning Trump voters into Black Lives Matter activists.
On YouTube, by contrast, left-wing voices are seemingly non-existent – apart from that communist child – while right-wing voices dominate. PJW himself is one, standing in front of his little world map shouting at the internet from his room; his mentor Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who likes to whip himself up into a frenzy by thinking about secret documents, is another. But it’s not just InfoWars – there is a whole ecosystem of right-wing YouTubers out there at least as sophisticated as the society of woodlice you might find scurrying under a loose paving slab, a vast horde of unloved grown-up boys droning on and on about why we need to halt immigration; why we need to ban toilets; why we need to kill all girl-children at birth.
The videos these people produce are a lot of things – “amateurish” and “mind-numblingly tedious” are among the main descriptors I’d use. But somehow, they’re incredibly effective. Let’s face it: anyone who can get hundreds of thousands of views for a one-hour rant about Owen Jones is worthy of at least our anthropological interest, if not quite our respect.
Pat Condell is another one, proving that people will consume the truth and facts even if it is recorded at a shitty resolution. All the fancy schmancy editing suites of the MSM are nothing compared to the constant drip feed of content by people like Paul Joseph Watson and Pat Condell.
The mainstream media froze all these people out and like Ezra Levant they’ve gone on to create their own news networks and deliver it exclusively via the internet.
And now the VICE columnists show why it is the left-wing are tits…it’s because they are as sanctimonious as he is. Get a load of this shite:
Here’s my hypothesis: Twitter is the natural home of the left because Twitter – participatory; open; capable of presenting multiple viewpoints to the reader simultaneously – is well-suited to the expression of left-wing views, which are (to draw however loose a family resemblance between often disparate warring factions) typically somehow egalitarian.
Contemporary right-wing politics, by contrast, is driven largely by the unexamined prejudices and anxieties of (primarily) white men. Any white man who wants to hold on to their prejudices and anxieties is going to have a tough time of it on Twitter – but they’re going to have a grand old time standing in front of their wall, alone, ranting.
So the left have the tweet, and the right have the solo rant to camera. This would, in a way, be fine – except that it turns out the solo rant to camera is a vastly better way of converting people than the tweet is. There are, I think, a number of reasons for this. In contrast to the tweet, the video rant allows the speaker to set themselves up as an authority, never really having to deal with the questioning, sarcastic audience that any tweeter does (YouTube has below-the-line comments, of course, but that’s a very odd ecosystem, and easy to ignore). Moreover, the fact that the vlog is an oral medium gives it a greater immediacy, so the audience can, for instance, feel the speaker’s anger. On both counts, it’s easy to see how the solo rant to camera might turn out to be more persuasive.
Wow. Talk about disconnected from reality. My experience of Twitter is that the left-wing are the most hateful, bigoted, assholes known to man. My banned list is a who’s who of left-wing snivellers all of whom personally abused either me or my family.
This columnist is deluded, but I love it when they write it all down and publish it because it gives me an inkling of their rather confused thought patterns.