Top Rightwing Youtubers

Summary

We compared the view counts of over 50 rightwing Youtubers and found that across his three channels, Tim Pool dominates the field, having received over 102 million views over the past month. He beats out Steven Crowder, his closest competitor, by more than 50 million views.

Tim Pool’s lead in views is so substantial that even if you combine the views of both Crowder and Pool’s next closest rival, BlazeTV, they would still not add up to Pool’s view count.

When considering average views per video, a slightly different picture emerges. This time Pool is in the number 3 spot, beaten out by the Conservative Twins and Salty Cracker Youtube pages.

Methodology

In order to understand who the most viewed rightwing YouTubers are and where Tim Pool places in this ranking, we decided to redo and expand our earlier analysis answering this question. Rather than focus on ranking the YouTubers by subscriber counts, which can be misleading, we chose to focus on their view counts over the past month.

Total Views Section

To draw together a list of the top rightwing YouTubers, we searched Google, Reddit, and Twitter for lists of the top rightwing creators and then supplemented these lists by asking our Twitter followers to suggest any names we might have left off. Our followers rose to the occasion and provided several useful additions. A full list of included creators can be found here.

To get to the total view counts for each creator, we manually searched for each of their channels on the social media analytics website SocialBlade. Any Youtube creators who had more than one channel had all their channels numbers combined into one figure to truly reflect their total monthly views. These views were then added to the spreadsheet linked above. Finally, a chart was created based on these results.

An important note is that we are not including mainstream media organizations in this analysis. If we did, organizations such as Fox News would still beat Pool by over 100 million views, however, they also have a more extensive back catalog, hundreds or thousands of employees, and often release more frequent videos.

Another caveat for our analysis is that despite our best efforts, we may well have missed other more prominent rightwing Youtubers. Any creators suggested by readers will be added to future investigations.

Average Views Section

To get the results for the average views section, we noted the views of the most recent 10 videos from each of the top 10 rightwing YouTubers. Where a YouTuber had more than one channel, we chose their 10 most recent videos regardless of which of their channels these videos were from. We ignored any videos published within the last 24 hours to not advantage/disadvantage any YouTuber who had only just posted a video. We then calculated the average views across those 10 videos.

Results

Consistent with our previous analysis, we again identified that the top rightwing YouTuber by view count over the past month is Tim Pool. And once again, he beats out his competition by more than 50 million views.

Moving down the list, the next four most successful Youtubers Steven Crowder, BlazeTV, The Daily Wire, and Liberal Hivemind, are all within a similar ballpark of views ranging from over 51 million monthly views for Crowder to just under 36 million for Liberal Hivemind.

After this, views drop down another level for the remaining five creators in the top ten list. Once you get past the 11th most-watched rightwing YouTuber (Ben Shapiro), the viewing numbers take another big dive into the single million digits level and below for the remaining 50 creators included in the analysis. 

The top ten YouTube creators, by view count are listed in the graph below. A full list of all 50 and their monthly views can be found here.

After looking at the raw total number of monthly views, we decided to add another dimension to our analysis and look at the average views per video for the top ten creators. In this analysis, we find that Tim Pool comes third with Conservative Twins (alternatively known as the Hodge Twins) and the creator Salty Cracker beating him in views per video. Amazingly the highest budget creators such as PragerU, The Daily Wire, and BlazeTV, come near the bottom half of the graph this time. This is partially explainable by the varied content they produce – some producers/hosts are less popular than others. We would also strongly caution against drawing too much of an inference from this data as only ten videos were used to create the average views per video graph. Future analyses will include a greater number than this.

Discussion

Interestingly the YouTubers who receive the most mainstream media attention, for example, Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, and even Ben Shapiro (who just missed out on getting onto the graph) don’t appear in the top 10. Instead, the creators dominating the chart are drawn from three fairly different groups.

The first group is larger independent rightwing media outlets such as BlazeTV and The Daily Wire, who create highly produced news and commentary content. The second group is men shouting at a computer, for example, Tim Pool and Liberal Hivemind. This group probably has the best margins because their videos require incredibly little effort and have low costs. Finally, the third group falls somewhere between these two extremes, for example Steven Crowder and the Conservative Twins. Female creators are notably underrepresented on the list; the first –  Abigail Shapiro (Ben Shapiro’s sister) – only appears in the 21st position.

One explanation for why the Youtubers who receive the most views don’t receive the most media attention is because “man shouts at computer for hours each day”  isn’t a particularly compelling news hook. That may be a problem. And it might be more important than many people realise.

Each year millions of people around the world spend millions of hours watching the creators included in our analysis. Many of the top creators upload daily – sometimes multiple times – and these repeat contacts help build a powerful relationship between them and their audience. Anyone who doubts this need only interact with their fans online. People critical of the creators often end up receiving avalanches of harassment, which often moves beyond angry online comments to death threats and real-life danger. The viewers also cement their relationships by collectively giving millions of dollars to the YouTube creators via donations and buying their merchandise.

With the 2020 election rapidly approaching, it is inarguable that the creators on our list will shift votes. What remains undetermined is the number of votes they’ll help shift and the electoral importance of the votes.

Conclusion

Tim Pool continues to dominate the rightwing Youtube sphere drawing in millions of views per day across his three main channels. From a total views perspective it’s hard to see how anyone can beat him. Not only does he receive more than double the views of his closest rivals, his channels and view count continue to grow. Last time we ran our analysis in July, he was receiving around 20-30 million fewer monthly views, and at this stage, an end to his growth isn’t in sight.

Rightwing creators dominate the attention economy on Youtube. Their influence has already been felt in the run-up to the 2016 and 2020 American elections and in the years between. At the current rate, it doesn’t look like this influence is going away any time soon. If anything it’s only getting stronger. While some of the most extreme YouTubers and those with the best branding have been the subject of numerous stories many others have not faced any serious inquiry despite their influence, wealth, and view count.

Perhaps it’s time that “angry man shouts at computer” becomes a story worth investigating.

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Grftr.news/@TimPoolClips is a new grifter watchdog initiative, and we need your help! We don’t have any outside funding and are currently completely staffed by volunteers. If you would like to support our project, please subscribe to our Patreon. Patrons receive early access to our blog posts as well as a host of other benefits. We can’t do this project without your support. You can subscribe to our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/TimPoolClips or buy as a coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/grftr

Exclusive: Massive Analysis Exposes Tim Pool’s Biased News Diet

Summary

According to our analysis of over 330 videos, Tim Pool heavily relies on sources which favor the right. 59% of the sources he used over a two month period had a pro-rightwing bias, while sources biased towards the left, and least biased sources made up 31% and 10% of his sources respectively.

Pool’s top five sources were: Daily Mail (used 96 times), Fox News (used 36 times), The New York Times (used 30 times), Andy Ngo tweets (used 26 times), and the New York Post (used 24 times).

Tim Pool did not use a single extreme left publication as source despite having used over 800 sources across those 330+ videos. Meanwhile, extreme rightwing sources made up 5% of the sources used with Breitbart being Pool’s joint 6th most used source.

Introduction

Tim Pool is a prolific content creator. Every day he releases approximately four hours of footage across his three Youtube channels. Keeping up with all his videos and their content is near impossible. As a result trends in his content can be hard to track. Against the advice of several medical professionals, we decided to watch over 300 of Pool’s videos to track which sources he used between June 25th and August 31st 2020.

Pool’s three active Youtube accounts are named Tim Pool, Timcast, and Timcast IRL. He generally releases one video per day on the first channel. The third channel features clips taken from his daily livestreams. The second channel which he uploads to five times per day was the channel considered in this analysis.

Methodology

We watched every single video released on Tim Pool’s Timcast channel between June 25th and August 31st 2020 and noted the first three sources he displayed on screen. This number of sources was chosen because in the vast majority of his videos he uses 1 – 3 sources. We estimate that fewer than 5% of his videos feature more than 3 sources.

The bias of each source was determined using the data from the mediabiasfactcheck.com (MBFC) website to ensure an independent standard. The MBFC bias scale runs from “extreme left” to “extreme right” bias with “least biased” in the center of the scale. Bias ratings from MBFC were compared with the bias assigned by other similar services such as AllSides.com. Results were found to be largely consistent however MBFC was chosen as it had a more subdivided scale.

When Tim Pool cited a tweet by a journalist we would assign the bias of that journalist’s primary employer to them for the purposes of our analysis.

When a source was not listed on MBFC its bias was labelled as N/A. Most of the sources falling into this category were random tweets or articles from local news stations. Some were also what we would judge to be obscure conservative publications.

Finally, we used Microsoft Excel to add up the data and then checked these results correcting any errors we found e.g. a source’s name being misspelled or being assigned the wrong bias. We then ran the numbers again to reach the final results presented here.

Results

During the time period being studied Tim Pool released 336 videos featuring 818 sources from 302 media organisations or social media accounts. The average number of times he used each source was 2.70 times however this result is misleading because it is pushed artificially high due to outliers such as him using the Daily Mail 96 times. The median number of times he used each source is 1 time however using this number the presence of the outliers is not reflected at all. Most of his sources were used 1 or 2 times other than his 20 most used sources which were all used at least 7 times.

59% of Pools sources were biased in favor of the right, 31% in favor of the left, and 10% fell into the “least biased” category.

Tim Pool’s 10 most used sources are displayed in the graph below (11 sources are present because there is a tie for 10th place).

Pool’s top five sources were:

Daily Mail (used 96 times)
Fox News (used 36 times)
The New York Times (used 30 times)
Andy Ngo tweets (used 26 times)
The New York Post (used 24 times)

Put another way 11.74% of Tim Pool’s total sources from June 25th to August 31st 2020 were Daily Mail articles. This contrasts with the only 10% of articles he used from “least biased” sources such as Reuters or the Associated Press.

Despite his claims of being center left Tim Pool did not use a single source from an extreme left publication in the 336 videos analysed however 5% of his sources have an extreme right bias including Breitbart which is his joint 6th most used source.

General observations

Despite his dislike and criticism of mainstream media, the vast majority of  Tim Pool’s sources came from long-established organisations. If mainstream news organisations didn’t exist Tim Pool would either not have a job or be forced to scale back his video production.

Although Pool occasionally used sources coded as ‘center left’ such as The New York Times and Washington Post he often only showed these sources so he could criticise and attack them for perceived bias. Few rightwing sources experienced the same treatment.

When Tim Pool used The Gateway Pundit as a source (as he did 6 times) it was often for articles written by his long-time friend Cassandra Fairbanks, who he attended the 2017 DeploraBall with.

Tim Pool rarely recommends any particular source however in multiple videos he has suggested his subscribers should follow Andy Ngo who has been accused of doxxing leftwing protestors and spreading misleading news about protests.

Conclusions

Although we assumed Tim Pool’s sources would lean right we were still surprised by his vastly disproportionate use of them. For someone who claims to be on the left he sure loves to promote the rights framing of almost every situation.

Some people may question whether relying largely on rightwing sources is an inherent predictor of being rightwing and we agree it is not. However, when a person uses sources biased in one direction they will inevitably receive and in Tim Pool’s case also promote a specific framing of situations and stories. With Pool, the effect is even more heightened as he regularly reads his viewers long tracts of the articles and adds his agreeing commentary.

When our results are taken together with Tim Pool’s frequent support of voting for Donald Trump, him labelling voting for Joe Biden as voting for the ‘suicide of America,’  him stating he would likely vote for a Republican in a generic ballot race, him donating thousands of dollars to a Republican political candidate, and his over 70 million monthly Youtube views (higher than any other independent rightwing Youtuber) it becomes hard to deny that at the very least Pool is providing significant help to right.

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An Introduction to Grifting

A Growing Problem With Political Discourse

What is a grifter?  They’re someone who sells you something they know doesn’t work.  Or, at least, they don’t care whether it works or not.  It’s the intentional lack of carefulness about the truth that determines whether someone is a grifter.  The end goal for these people is that they get paid, and if that means being less-than-honest, or even flatly dishonest, then that’s just fine by them.  No skin off their nose.

But the problem we have today with these people isn’t that they are scalping fake tickets, or getting people to invest in their pyramid scheme. The problem is that there is a growing cadre of so-called political commentators on YouTube and other social media sites accruing millions and millions of views, who are knowingly making bad-faith arguments about politics, particularly about the political left.  People like Tim Pool, Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, and Candace Owens are often pointed to as examples of this growing problem.

Your Crazy, Right-Wing Uncle Is Not A Grifter, But He Is A Victim Of It

We are not trying to claim that everyone saying outlandish things online is a grifter or a part of this problem.  But your conservative relatives retweeting and sharing the content of, say, Tim Pool is exactly what Tim Pool needs them to be doing. In November 2019, he was on The Hill’s Rising and described himself as “idealistically…far left.  But, realistically, like trying to actually accomplish policies that move us forward, I’m probably a moderate left”. Moderate left, huh? That sounds relatively harmless. But the problem is that he’s not telling the truth.

He’s aware that people perceive him as right-wing, and in the same interview says that his policy positions are to the left, but that he is “concerned about some of the same things as conservatives on principle grounds”. As an example, he points to the news media. According to Pool, the idea “that there’s media bias”, or “that a news organization is incentivized by profit” are ideas that conservatives are talking about and progressives are not.  Did Tim Pool forget that The Daily Show, both with Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah, has been hammering media bias regularly on mainstream television to millions of people for years? Jon Stewart publicly destroyed CNBC host Jim Cramer back in 2009 for his failures to be honest with his viewership about the state of the economy leading up to the 2008 financial collapse (and he even showed clips of Cramer explaining how one could deceive the SEC, oops).

The notion that conservatives are talking about media bias, and that the left is not, is absurd.  Maybe Pool is talking in terms of relative mentions? In that case, I would agree with him, as Trump probably calls CNN fake news once per day, while even the mouthiest progressive in Congress might call Fox News propaganda once per week. But of course, that’s not what our beanie-bro means.

He’s just lying – or doesn’t care about the truth.

Why Do You Think These People Are Lying?

Great question! It’s important to distinguish between grifters and useful idiots. A useful idiot is just that; someone who takes the grifter’s word as gospel and carries it downstream.  Without them, there’d be no pyramid schemes or MyPillows.  Every grifter needs their useful idiots.  But when a useful idiot approaches you and says, “hey, want to be a part of a great business opportunity?”, they aren’t technically grifting you because they believe what they are saying is true. They’re not a grifter, just an idiot.  Your crazy, proto-fascist uncle? He’s an idiot.

Let’s use Tim Pool again. He’s not an idiot, he’s a grifter. How can you tell?  Because he has expressed the importance of fact-checking, but we know he doesn’t care to do as much himself. Pool claims he is center-left, but he has donated to a Republican political candidate and expressed support for Republicans and Donald Trump multiple times.  He terrifies his audience with outlandish claims about the left while running defense for the right.

And the idea that conservatives care about media bias but progressives do not? Someone would need to have buried their head in the sand for nearly two decades to genuinely make that claim.  But, since Tim has been actively involved in media and journalism for years, there’s no credible explanation other than that he is knowingly misleading people.

But why do these grifters do this?

They’re Doing It For The Money And Fame

Duh. It’s what grifting’s all about! The grifters we’re concerned with are getting their funding primarily in one of two ways.  Either,  as in the case of Dave Rubin’s show, they receive funding from organizations funded by the Koch brothers and other conservative financiers, or they are funded like other independent media with small-dollar donations and merchandise sales.  Oftentimes grifters in one of these lanes will drift in and out of the other, but they are important to distinguish because it changes the motives involved.

In the first case, with conservative think tanks funding content like the Rubin Report, there is a direct incentive for Dave Rubin to appeal to the politics and sensibilities of the people writing his paychecks.  He needs to hit the marks they want him to hit.  If Dave Rubin was up there talking about his 2015 support for Bernie Sanders, he would not be getting his paychecks anymore.  But talking about black support for Trump? That’s gonna be a yes from me, dawg.  This doesn’t mean that there is a sith-like libertarian overlord waiting in the wings while Dave Rubin does his show, but he knows where the boundaries are and he is more than happy to stay well within them.

In the second case, you need to appeal to your audience.  The audience for these grifters is conservatives.  And when we’re talking about the Trump-era, being a conservative is, with few exceptions, synonymous with being a Trump supporter.  That means that the target audience for these grifters is Trump supporters.

To pick on Tim Pool, he criticizes Trump from time to time, but he recently jumped the shark and said he’s voting for Trump.  This is from someone who described himself politically from “far-left” to “moderate left”.  Pool has oriented himself in such a way that he can provide a semblance of credibility for Trump supporters to point to and say “See! He was a leftist and now he supports Trump”.  And Pool knows this.  He once tweeted that he has “an in depth understanding of social media algorithms and what drives content”.  He needs his viewer base to buy into what he’s doing, and for that to happen Tim Pool needs to buy into what his viewer base is doing, or, at least, appear to buy into it.  And these two categories overlap, Tim Pool has been a guest on The Rubin Report and other conservative financed programs, and those with financial backing make their own money selling merchandise and books.  They go hand in hand.

What Can We Do About It?

The best thing we can do right now is to keep talking about it.  Today, truth is more important than ever, and when people can make a comfortable living distorting the truth and changing the opinions and minds of our friends and families, it has a devastating ripple effect across our personal, professional, and societal relationships.  That’s why Grftr.News exists—to be an outlet that stands against the conmen and conwomen of alternative media.

The second best thing you can do is donate to our Patreon and enable us to continue bringing you the latest and greatest in articles, dunks, and memes about our favorite right-wing swindlers.