Buzzfeed: How YouTube’s “Super Chat” System Is Pushing Video Creators Toward More Extreme Content

From Buzzfeed:

In late April, the white nationalist Christopher Cantwell — commonly known as “the Crying Nazi” — made an appearance on a YouTube channel run by Andy Warski that boasts nearly 275,000 subscribers.

Cantwell was there to talk about how he would build a whites-only country within the United States. At one point during the livestream, a user with the screen name “Hitler Did Everything Right” spent $5 using YouTube’s paid commenting system known as “Super Chats” to ask Cantwell a question.

They wanted to know how a hypothetical white ethno-state would deal with undocumented immigrants. Cantwell said anyone crossing the border illegally would have “a fucking woodchipper waiting for them.”

That two-hour live broadcast saw dozens of other Super Chats, with one person spending $500.

“You guys should have me on more often,” Cantwell said at one point. “You’re getting paid tonight.”

Prominent far-right and white nationalist figures have for months been helping YouTube channels earn thousands of dollars thanks to frequently racist commenters who pay for the opportunity to make their voices heard. BuzzFeed News tallied the Super Chat amounts from two recent videos featuring white nationalists Richard Spencer and Mike Enoch and found they brought in just over $4,000, of which YouTube itself takes a cut. (The company declined to say how much.)

“Once you go black, you’ll never get your society back. FACT,” wrote a commenter who paid $5 for a Super Chat.

Another spent 20 Danish krone to say “THIS LYING BAGEL NEEDS HIS MOUTH STUFFED #GasKikes.”

And someone going by the screen name National Socialist spent $100 for the Super Chat “WHITE PRIDE WORLD WIDE!”

In response to a list of livestreams featuring white nationalists compiled by BuzzFeed News, YouTube said some of the Super Chat comments fit its definition of hate speech, and that it would revisit its policies on Super Chat eligibility and enforcement.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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