The Right has flooded the internet with misinformation. The content creators of BreadTube are doing something about it.
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If you are worried about whether the kids are alright, you should be. The Right has inundated social media with accessible misinformation, to put it charitably — and social media is exactly where teens spend half their waking hours, according to independent research group Common Sense. From disgraced psychologist Jordan Peterson’s bigotry masquerading as self-empowerment to media hubs like PragerU spoon-feeding rightwing talking points through brightly colored videos, it’s easy to lose one’s bearings, which is exactly by design. A 2018 study from the nonprofit Data & Society confirms this radicalization effect happening on social media, where recommendation algorithms gently lead viewers from one video to the next, heading down what’s become known as the “alt-Right pipeline.”
Enter “BreadTube,” also called “LeftTube,” which has emerged to reroute that pipeline. The name stems from Peter Kropotkin’s anarcho-socialist classic The Conquest of Bread, and this loosely knit internet subculture of leftists talk openly about socialism. Their methods and points of view vary. Some do cultural commentary, some offer entry points to political theory and some take on the alt-Right directly — but they all act as engaging, thoughtful guides. The following highlights just a few of our BreadTube favorites.
A self-described “professional loud-mouth,” Olayemi Olurin is “here to run [her] mouth in service of you,” taking on issues from inequality to the criminal justice system from a Black leftist perspective. She’s also a movement lawyer and political commentator who has been featured in outlets like Teen Vogue, CBS, The Real News Network, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Natalie Wynn has carved out a niche as a provocateur, video essayist, and fierce opponent of the alt-Right. The philosophy Ph.D. dropout effortlessly shifts from discussing pop culture to the philosophical musings of Wittgenstein. As a trans woman, Wynn also dissolves myths about trans identity and rights. Her YouTube channel has drawn more than 1.7 million subscribers since 2016.
Eddie Liger Smith is a college wrestling coach — and a Marxist who teaches about socialism on the side. (Don’t miss his “Marxism for NOOBS” series on TikTok.) On Midwestern Marx, which also has a print journal, he debunks anti-communism scare tactics and debates other YouTubers about U.S. wars. Oh, and his detailed workout video includes “Union Built Rail Pull-Ups” and “Proletarian Push-Ups.”
Teanna prides herself on dissecting systemic issues without a lot of jargon or “pointing fingers at individuals,” whether it’s explaining how food delivery services mistreat their workers or critiquing capitalism within Black culture. Her refreshing approach takes a global lens and emphasizes how capitalism oppresses all of us.
A physician and Iraqi national, Hakim (who does not disclose his last name or show his face) leans into socialism’s history— and where it’s going. Diving deep into theory and drawing from his own experience living through the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, he explores how neoliberalism is ruining our future and the history of eugenics. He also co-hosts The Deprogram Pod, which discusses late-stage capitalism from an internationalist perspective.
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Armand D. Jackson is a fact-checking editorial intern at In These Times. He has worked as a Digital Content Writer for The American Independent Foundation writing socio-political articles from a left-wing perspective. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ivonne Ortiz is an environmental journalist based in Sacramento. She’s currently an intern at In These Times.
Xuandi Wang is an editorial intern with In These Times and a freelance journalist covering urban affairs and environmental politics. His writing has appeared in Chicago Reader, the Baffler, and more.