18 votes

Andrew Yang's campaign and supporters struggle to push away extremists, leaked chats show

10 comments

  1. [7]
    Yugioh_Mishima Link
    Completely true. Being the ironic meme candidate is where all of the buzz around him has come from. Throw out the NEETbux brigade and the rest of his support comes from a handful of...

    “Why is the official Yang discord shooting themselves in the foot?” a user on the 4chan-based board asks. “Don’t they realize we are in control of the memes and they can’t win without us?”

    Completely true. Being the ironic meme candidate is where all of the buzz around him has come from. Throw out the NEETbux brigade and the rest of his support comes from a handful of wannabe-technocratic nerds you could fit into a single van.

    I’m not sure the Yang campaign is as innocent in this as they say either. That’s not to say he’s deliberately courting alt-righters, because I don’t think that’s who he is morally or strategically. But look at his policy page and it’s pretty clearly meant for internet virality. Prevent airlines from removing customers? Empower MMA fighters? Get rid of the penny? Seems like the easiest way to get Yang to take a position on an issue is to get it to the Reddit front page. They deliberately target the Angry White Male On the Internet doing things like that, or interviews with Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, and Joe Rogan, and now they’re finding out (like much of the rest of the world) just what those people really believe.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      hamstergeddon Link Parent
      I've viewed his appearance on questionable shows as more of an attempt to change minds rather than court potential voters as they are. Although I suppose there's a pretty fine line there. A vote's...

      I've viewed his appearance on questionable shows as more of an attempt to change minds rather than court potential voters as they are. Although I suppose there's a pretty fine line there. A vote's a vote, but he certainly doesn't seem to be embracing their viewpoints at all, rather he's trying to change them and that's noble.

      I like him and some of his ideas, though I'm more of a Sanders or Warren guy myself. He seems genuine and he seems like a good candidate for working toward fixing Capitalism while bridging the gap between the right and left. But we'll see, all of this is meaningless until we start having debates and get closer to the election.

      Ultimately I'm glad that we've got so much variety in candidates this time around.

      4 votes
      1. alyaza Link Parent
        i would like to think this, but given the track record of venture capitalists in literally everything else they do, i'm not sure i want one approaching the white house--particularly not yang, who...

        I like him and some of his ideas, though I'm more of a Sanders or Warren guy myself. He seems genuine and he seems like a good candidate for working toward fixing Capitalism while bridging the gap between the right and left. But we'll see, all of this is meaningless until we start having debates and get closer to the election.

        i would like to think this, but given the track record of venture capitalists in literally everything else they do, i'm not sure i want one approaching the white house--particularly not yang, who feels like he hasn't put much of any thought into really any of the shit he wants and has literally no qualifications for the job. (even his seminal UBI idea doesn't make a lot of sense to pass if you think about it, because if anybody actually had the political capital to pass a UBI bill, they'd probably also have the capital to push more radical reforms than UBI like, i dunno, national rent control or something.)

        1 vote
    2. clerical_terrors Link Parent
      I was intrigued by Yang for a short while, but he flamed out really fast for me. His policy proposals got increasingly nonsensical and non-sequitur and he never fully embraced nor distanced...

      I was intrigued by Yang for a short while, but he flamed out really fast for me. His policy proposals got increasingly nonsensical and non-sequitur and he never fully embraced nor distanced himself from the memes, seemingly hoping he could ride it out somewhere in-between.

      In terms of more interesting "iconoclastic" figures I'm rooting for Pete Buttigieg now, he seems miles more competent.

      3 votes
    3. [3]
      s-sea Link Parent
      I'm inclined to disagree at least on the first point - While Yang certainly started as a meme-y candidate, I think he's outgrown most of it at the point that he has interviews and articles now...

      I'm inclined to disagree at least on the first point - While Yang certainly started as a meme-y candidate, I think he's outgrown most of it at the point that he has interviews and articles now written about him. Sure, the memes are still there, but they're not driving the push - instead he's getting more people latched onto his policy (outlandish or not) and they're looking at that. IIRC, he's got more average page views and more unique visits per day on his site than any other presidential candidate right now, and that counts for something.

      While I think some of his policies are a bit out there, I don't think they're 'geared' towards virality - they're common sense ideas that might not make sense in policy (empower mma fighters, pay ncaa athletes) but are just good things to have a stance on. And I think that's really important - he's got policies across the board rather than stacking onto ideology.

      As for the appearance on shows -- I agree with hamstergeddon - I don't think this is an issue of "target[ing] the Angry White Male On the Internet." He's trying to convince people to change their views, and I think he's succeeded in some regard. I also think a lot of it has been to maintain and boost his visibility -- if it weren't for showing up on these shows, he'd be one of these dozen other candidates that have declared like gilibrand or kickenlooper who don't have much of anything to show for it.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        dubteedub Link Parent
        https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%201-m&geo=US&q=%2Fg%2F11c37jsw3y,%2Fm%2F08sry2,%2Fm%2F0hhqg37,%2Fm%2F01_gbv,%2Fm%2F012gx2 Here is a quick Google Trends comparing many...

        IIRC, he's got more average page views and more unique visits per day on his site than any other presidential candidate right now, and that counts for something.

        https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%201-m&geo=US&q=%2Fg%2F11c37jsw3y,%2Fm%2F08sry2,%2Fm%2F0hhqg37,%2Fm%2F01_gbv,%2Fm%2F012gx2
        Here is a quick Google Trends comparing many candidates that I just did and it shows that Biden is far and away on top of google traffic, with Pete Buttigieg in second, then Bernie, with Andrew Yang basically on par with Kamala Harris at the bottom.

        I have not seen anyone comparing web traffic for different candidates sites, but I would not be surprised that Yang may have more at this time since he launched a super internet heavy policy page recently including things like being against circumcision that caused a lot of mocking on the late night shows.

        1. s-sea Link Parent
          Looking at Alexa - Yang is in first with 2,614 rank; Bernie in second with 3,663; Pete in third with 6,063; Harris with 13,750 Someone had the data for visit duration and page clicks but I can't...

          Looking at Alexa - Yang is in first with 2,614 rank; Bernie in second with 3,663; Pete in third with 6,063; Harris with 13,750

          Someone had the data for visit duration and page clicks but I can't find it right now.

          Also, the circumcision thing - please. The dude made one comment on an interview that's been blown out of proportion and if you search the entirety of his site for "circumcision" it doesn't make a single appearance. It's not a policy of his, it was an off-hand thought he had.

          1 vote
  2. dubteedub Link
    I am not a fan of Andrew Yang at all, but I would think something like this would be fairly likely to happen to just about any campaign if they started an official Discord account. It should have...

    I am not a fan of Andrew Yang at all, but I would think something like this would be fairly likely to happen to just about any campaign if they started an official Discord account. It should have been extremely obvious to anyone that has spent time online that making an official chat group like this was bound to attract trolls and should have been extremely heavily moderated from the start.

    It does seem a bit cheap to me that this article is using the fact that the Discord has a rule that says "no racism or hatespeech." That is pretty standard fare for any chat group or web forum and is usually used against all the "rules lawyer" trolls who ask why they were banned. It just makes things easier to point to the rule and say you clearly broke this.

    3 votes
  3. DonQuixote Link
    This illustrates just how difficult it is to run a coherent campaign in this day and age. There's a political science dissertation in this election cycle just itching to come out.

    This illustrates just how difficult it is to run a coherent campaign in this day and age. There's a political science dissertation in this election cycle just itching to come out.

    3 votes
  4. Pilgrim Link
    Never heard of the guy.

    Never heard of the guy.