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Former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos is among the perennially banned members of the far-right and conspiracy theory set who have found a new home on Telegram.
In spite of having 19,100 followers, one of the largest among his shunned cohorts who migrated to the messaging app, Yiannopoulos is not satisfied with his experience. Specifically, he’s mad that he a) doesn’t have more members and subscribers and b) the small size of his following is cutting into his bottom line.
In a lengthy thread unearthed by Twitter user @witchofpeace, the self-styled “pop star of hate” complains profusely about his paltry 470 subscribers and “microscopic followings like 20K,” which he says “are not going to sustain people like me.”
Yiannopoulus is getting at the fact that many alt-right and conspiracy theory types rely on donations from their followers either to supplement or as the sole source of their income. Getting banned from top social media sites apparently cuts deeply into their revenue streams.
Deeply paranoid and Twitter-obsessed Laura Loomer, banned from basically everything, redirects her 12,000 members to her site where she solicits donations for her lawsuit against Twitter and CAIR and to support her “journalism.”
Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes tries to get his 7,500 Telegram members to buy a subscription to his channel, FreeSpeech.TV.
Like them, Yiannopoulos tries to get his Telegram members to visit his website and give him money. He also claims they can make a tax-deductible donation to him through the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which is referred to in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extremist files as “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Muslim.”
According to Yiannopoulos, he’s flailing on Telegram.
“It’s just not a good use of my time to be here,” he writes, “talking to the same 1,000 people, none of whom buy books, tickets to anything or donate.” He claims that his post views have “crashed” to only about “2 to 3K total” apiece.
He’s glad to be able to connect with his “gold star homies,” but laments that he “can’t put food on the table this way.”
His experience, he claims, is typical of that of his fellow “social media refugees.”
Yiannopoulos also shared his thoughts about three of the safe-haven platforms for the far-right: Gab, Parler, and Telegram. Gab, he says, is “relentlessly, exhaustingly hostile and jam packed full of teen racists who totally dictate the tone and discussion.” Parler has “zero interaction, no one is there.” And Telegram is “a wasteland.”
People on Twitter weren’t particularly sympathetic to the plight of the guy who in 2017 vowed to make progressives’ lives “a living hell.”
Others laughed, “‘Why isn’t my grift working anymore?'” and “Shocked to hear alternative platforms like Gab that are havens of free speech are actually full of deranged bigots and bad for growing a platform.”
The comment thread was full of much merriment and sarcasm.
Now he’s getting the message! Good. GO. pic.twitter.com/VgHtCN5Tr0— Roy Sholay (@ephemeral1107) September 9, 2019
Lmao the second the billionaire patrons bounced Milo became a literal beggar, if there's any more crystal-clear example of how astroturfed the entire conservative movement is, I've yet to see it.— Pete the Treat 🥚 (@FungeonMaster1) September 9, 2019
Disclosure: Milo Yiannopoulos was the founder of the Kernel, a publication the Daily Dot acquired in 2014.
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.