Aarhus Universitets segl

Cult Leaders, Masculinity, and White Supremacy on YouTube: The Case of Stefan Molyneux

Publikation: KonferencebidragPosterForskning


  • Daniël Jurg
  • ,
  • Maximilian Schlüter
  • Marc Tuters
  • ,
  • Cecilia Vicini Ronchetti
  • ,
  • Connor Newell
  • ,
  • Beatrice Hillen
  • ,
  • Adele Janulionyte
  • ,
  • Anna Cattaneo
Link here: https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/CultLeaders

In general, 2013 marked a major shift in both Molyneux’s content as well as his comment section, and the pivotal moment was the Zimmerman trial. We also found that the content Molyneux produced on this event was shared and endorsed by David Duke, thus placing it on the radar of a white supremacist audience.

Who is Molyneux’s audience?
From 2013 onwards, we can trace this influence in the dynamics of his comment section. Users that had been active until that moment either radicalised or left, and a major influx of new commenters emerged from 2013 onwards.
How do Stefan Molyneux’s commenting habits change?
Moreover, we can trace this influence in Stefan Molyneux’s own commenting habits as he becomes increasingly involved with his followers. From 2015 till 2017, references to Molyneux are dominating the comment section. Building on that observation, we find that Molyneux himself, in 2014, increasingly stimulated engagement in the comments section by posting comments himself. Indeed, from 2015 up until the end of our dataset, Molyneux is the top commenter.

How does the content of his videos and comments change?
Alongside the participatory culture, we see a clear topical shift around 2014 that highlights the libertarian to the alt-right pipeline in the comments section. Like the Zimmerman trial, spikes in engagement among Molyneux's audience align with key political moments generally associated with the far-right that highly engage his audience.
Udgivelsesår1 feb. 2023
StatusUdgivet - 1 feb. 2023

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