Friday, December 14, 2018

Tim Pool shows the Patreon "virus" as spreading to other platforms, and indicative of vengeful media companies being lowballed by independent media with little overhead





Tim Pool has made a particularly important video today about the way independent media producers finance their work. It’s longer than usual, about 24 minutes.

Some Patreon content producers have moved to SubscribeStar because of Patreon’s inflexible “manifest observable behavior” hashtag, but Subscribestar reportedly was cut off by PayPal for some sort of TOS issue.  Read, says Pool, that as fear of harassment from the far Left.

Pool paints a dire picture where tech companies fear violent behavior from the extreme Left (the Marxist side) who imagine strawman objections to some figures rumored to be on the alt-right but often rather centrist if you read their stuff (it’s just supporting normal capitalism). 


He described the Vox article(s) about Pewdiepie as “panic bate”.  Somehow, to me the entire controversy about him is just silly. 
  
Pool mentions the animated superhero film "The Incredibles", where "when a door closes a window opens" and if everyone is a superhero, then no one is. 
     
Pool discusses independent creators (that includes me) who have income or resources from other areas.  People create content, sometimes without asking for anything, “because they want to” (become influential) or show that they are not willing to be viewed as victims or “losers”.  But that could be attacked too, because, ironically, election laws (2014 post by me).  You could make rules that content creation has to pay for itself.  In fact, CNN this morning mentioned, as an aside in talking about Donald Trump’s troubles during the last 24 hours (the Ronan Farrow bombshells)  the little known fact that theoretically, a blogger who offers issue-oriented political content “for free” is conceivably acting as “non-connected PAC” (because his labor should have a monetary value, which in some legal scenarios requires accounting – but nobody talks about it and everyone assumes Citizen’s United and McCutcheon took care of it).

More to the point, Pool makes the point that independent journalists (outside of conflict journalists) have little overhead, and it is becoming very difficult for even the smaller but “legitimate” media outlets to continue making money and pay their employees, which reduces the journalistic quality of the commentary on their sites.  I really wish Reid Ewing’s 2012 short film “It’s Free” were available now, because Reid’s little skit has turned out to be so prescient.

Pool distinguishes between the “libertarian Left” and the “authoritarian Left”, the latter getting more power through bullying tactics on the tech industry and on campuses.  He predicts some day that the government will take away smartphones from people who are too politically incorrect (Alex Jones gets named).  Is Pool hinting that he fears we will have our own version of China’s “social credit score”?

I do notice the tone of some emails I get that seem a bit threatening.  Don’t think of yourself as being above needing us, they imply.  I got a couple from one person questioning why I don’t want to do more for POC, trans, etc as specific “vulnerable groups”.  Yup, it’s a sin to question intersectionality, as if a “fairness doctrine” could be applied to bloggers.  It’s possible to construct a “skin in the game” (or “clean your room”) argument that interprets gratuitous free content from people not belonging to the groups they talk about, as “hate speech”.  Likewise, speech that comes across as a gratuitous "moral lecture", saying, "I am (born) better than you" really angers the far Left. 
    
I wanted to note also recent arguments (presented here Nov 24 in a video from ContraPoints) that many supposedly centrist or moderately conservative pundits are actually associated with the alt-right (even intentional white supremacy) because of the use of code words. That may be one reason for the accusations about Sargon, Milo, Pewdiepie, etc. --“Dangerous” (Milo’s term) indeed -- which I personally do not believe based on what I see myself of their content.  A lot of stuff I see seems increasingly Marxist, dismissive of individual identity outside the group (tribalist) and willing to blame "capitalism" as predatory by definition, as if we were approaching 1917 again. 

 I'd also note that the battle in the European Union over copyright filters and "link taxes" reflects a policy of protectionism for established media, and its effects could spread to the US.
   
 Subsribestar has a statement on its situation on its site now, 

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