Then They Came for Wranglerstar

Miles Klee of Rolling Stone gets Wranglerstar banned from Tik Tok and goes after his YouTube account with a hit piece written on behalf of Jared Holt, the social media hit man who was previously “instrumental in getting social media and other internet platforms to give Infowars the boot” from Apple, YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify, among others.

While his comments are a mixed bag of supporters and detractors, there’s no telling whether someone will put Crone’s more irresponsible recommendations into practice. “It’s alarming to see content that he offers instructions for doing damage paired with content that promotes a generally paranoid worldview,” says Jared Holt, a senior research analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue who studies the intersection of tech and U.S. political extremism. “That can be a volatile cocktail, and I worry that it normalizes types of violence.” 

After Rolling Stone brought the UN helmet video and other clips to TikTok’s attention, the company deleted Crone’s page. A TikTok representative confirmed that Crone was banned for “repeatedly violating” their policies, though did not enumerate which rules he had broken. The TikTok representative also reported that Crone had never made money on the platform. “While our investigation is ongoing, I can confirm that it did not monetize through our product features this year, and we’ve so far not found an indication it did so before that,” the rep said. Another Wranglerstar-branded TikTok account with more than 200,000 followers has preserved clips including a guide on breaking into buildings and a screed about “pushing back” against police officers by showing up to their houses to confront them. (It’s unclear whether Crone operates the account or someone else is reposting his content.)

YouTube, for its part, did not remove any of Crone’s videos or issue him a warning, and continues to generate revenue from his brand. (Crone, who has had an ad partnership with the site for at least a decade, was previously featured as an “On The Rise” influencer and on YouTube’s “Spotlight” channel.) In a statement to Rolling Stone, YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon says Crone’s videos have not violated the site’s community or the advertising-friendly guidelines for official YouTube Partners. “As such, they will remain on the platform,” Malon says.

According to the site’s policy guidelines, YouTube forbids “content intended to praise, promote, or aid violent extremist or criminal organizations is not allowed on YouTube,” though notably, Crone does not seem to identify with any particular radical group. YouTube also prohibits “content encouraging others to commit violent acts.” Whether Crone risks violating this policy with material like the arson clip — which falls into something of a gray area — is an open question. Malon’s statement did not address the assessments YouTube made of any individual video.

Holt tells Rolling Stone that Crone is “crossing or edging on the line of policies that platforms have against what’s usually called ‘dangerous’ or ‘harmful’ content,” but that such rules are useless without rigorous enforcement. If YouTube doesn’t see fit to remove this kind of content, says Holt, it would “be responsible to at least down-rank it in sorting.”

Though Holt emphasizes that “most people who view this sort of content will not be compelled to act, and even fewer will be violent,” he says a slim minority may feel emboldened to take action “in harmful or violent ways.” For YouTube to allow this content on their platform, he explains, is “to provide the next would-be attacker or vigilante with the tools they need to act,” comparable to “scattering instruments all over a stage and inviting musicians into the theater.”

Of course, Holt cautions, we can’t say for sure that this is what Crone intends — which gives him the plausible deniability to continue operating on YouTube without interference. As long as he is ambiguous enough in his prophecies, avoiding direct imperatives to act or praise for known terrorist groups, he comes across as just another eccentric, gun-loving conservative. This way, Crone is able to walk a thin line, seeding extremist propaganda while separately laying out strategies for an anticipated clash with authorities, leaving his audience to connect the dots. Unlike his less-filtered TikTok channel, his YouTube presence relies on the power of what remains unsaid.

He Taught People to Make Bombs — And YouTube Is Helping Him Cash In, ROLLING STONE, 11 August 2023

When, as they like to say, there is no place in their society for us, it is clear that there is no place for them in our society. It’s not paranoia when they really are out to demonetize, deplatform, and destroy you. This is why it is foolish to rely in any way upon enemy platforms; there is more to preparation than building a cabin in the deep woods. Fortunately for us, our half of the global economy is much bigger than the one they have coopted; the two leading BRICSIA nations, Russia and China, have already declared war on their Empire of Lies.

It’s fascinating to see the Imperial SJWtroopers intensifying their attacks and expanding their range of targets at the same time that the companies they utilize as weapons are in decline and increasingly desperate to bring people, including those they previously banned, back to their platforms. Just this week, one major platform unsuspended an account that was frozen in 2020 and tried to get us back on the platform; we declined and took advantage of the unsuspension to cancel it for good. Just as it’s a mistake for consumers to subscribe to Disney+ or ESPN, or drink Bud Light, it’s a mistake for a non-SJW creator to become reliant upon YouTube, Facebook, or any other converged platform.

Big Bear and I have warned other creators about this for years. Most of them didn’t heed those warnings. But it’s just going to keep getting worse as the US continues to implode internally and the external pressure on its various institutions and corporations grows. Is it going to be easy at first? No. Are you going to take an initial hit in terms of every single metric? Yes. But that’s the price of playing the long game that ensures you’ll be around in the future.