Teen Vogue distorts reality of YouTube to make radical views look balanced
August 18, 2023
Teen Vogue claims that YouTube is right-wing. That’s a significantly dangerous thing to say to the young people this part of the Conde Nast empire is aimed at. Do recall that the self-proclaimed mission of Teen Vogue is “Educating the influencers of tomorrow.” What they’re doing is propagandizing the young.
What’s on YouTube is a wide array of thoughts and opinions on everything. Of course, some are more to the right – and more to the left – than the general average opinion. That’s how freedom and liberty work. But then we get this:
“I watched things like Gamergate, this manosphere, be very active in the 80s. Gamergate was an explosion of something that we saw coming, but it was also the first time on a large scale that dark money and political players intentionally weaponized that manosphere. It wasn’t just a free flow anymore,” said Alex Winter, director of documentary “The YouTube Effect.” “What’s going on YouTube now, there’s kind of, Golly gee whiz, Steven Crowder is just out there, maybe he’s far right, but he’s just talking to his buddies on the webcam. But there’s huge money behind the Steven Crowders, huge money behind [someone like] Ben Shapiro — political money. That raises all kinds of other implications.”
These things are claimed to be far-right – by both Winter and the writer of the piece — when they’re not. The very fact that tens of millions watch them means they’re not far-anything. They’re part of the mix of average opinion. They might be far-right by the standards of Teen Vogue, but that is the very problem. Because if that average includes what Teen Vogue thinks is far-right, then that must make Teen Vogue’s own views far-left. Which, to the average U.S. view, they are. Teen Vogue is left even by the standards of the usual U.S. media, which really does make it far-left.
But this is where that danger comes in. By portraying a standard part of the spectrum of American views as “far-right,” Teen Vogue makes its own ideas seem more mainstream to the detriment of the education of those future influencers.
The claim is that the people Teen Vogue disagrees with are political money, are some dark influence upon the body politic. Except that’s not how media works at all. Rupert Murdoch creating Fox News wasn’t to swing America to the right. It was noted that tens of millions of Americans weren’t getting the media they desired. That the gap was to the right of center was a simple proof of the way the extant and general media was to the left of center – leaving those tens of millions without their voice.
This is what Teen Vogue is trying to deny here. The American population is well to the right of what Teen Vogue believes to be true. Therefore it is misinforming – producing disinformation for – its young readers. To claim that all those who disagree with Teen Vogue are paid mouthpieces of the dark money billionaires. Only in that way can they claim that their own views are even close to mainstream – by cutting off the average view entirely.
This is not just vile and misleading; it’s dangerous. Those influencers will be educated into beliefs about their own country and the people they share it with, which are wrong. And yes, not understanding your fellow citizens is dangerous. It’s unnecessary to say that Crowder or Shapiro are right on everything – or even anything – to grasp the dangers here. If you don’t understand that tens of millions think they’ve something important to say, then you’re not understanding your own country.
But then, that’s what Teen Vogue is trying to do.