Tim Pool over an orange background with the YouTube logo and a dollar sign in the background
Andrea Austria / Media Matters 

Research/Study Research/Study

Right-wing YouTuber Tim Pool has raised over $1.3 million from Super Chat donations on the platform

Some of his top-earning videos feature far-right guests, including Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and white nationalist streamer Nick Fuentes

Over the past five years, prominent right-wing influencer Tim Pool has raised over $1.3 million from YouTube’s “Super Chat” feature, which allows users to pay creators to highlight their livestream comments, with one video alone drawing nearly $20,000 in donations. (YouTube takes an estimated 30% cut of those donations.) Even though Pool has pushed extreme rhetoric on his show, Timcast IRL, and frequently hosts far-right guests who push false claims, YouTube has allowed and even profited from his channel. 

Pool’s guests have included former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio; Naomi Wolf, who has pushed COVID-19 conspiracy theories; and Andrew Torba, the notoriously antisemitic founder of far-right social media platform Gab. Pool himself has baselessly accused teachers, journalists, and LGBTQ people of being “pedophiles,” made misogynistic comments, and falsely claimed that a news story about a 10-year-old rape victim was a “hoax.”

  • Tim Pool and other right-wing figures are using YouTube’s Super Chat feature to enrich themselves while the platform takes a cut

    • Tim Pool is a right-wing YouTuber whose show, Timcast IRL, often hosts extremists, bigots, and conspiracy theorists and has a history of spreading right-wing misinformation. Pool’s channel has more than 1.65 million subscribers and has reportedly earned him a fortune, in part from livestreaming on the platform. On his channel, Pool has attacked minority groups, spread conspiracy theories following mass shootings, and downplayed their prominence in American society. [Media Matters, 12/20/22, 5/12/23; YouTube, accessed 3/21/24; Daily Beast, 8/3/21]
    • Pool and other right-wing streamers are using Super Chats, which allows livestream viewers to pay creators to highlight their comments, to monetize hate and misinformation. YouTube rolled out the Super Chat feature in 2017, arguing that it would “connect fans with creators during live streams and Premieres.” Media Matters has found a number of extremist figures, including white nationalists, using the feature to profit from spreading hate, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. [TechCrunch, 1/12/17; YouTube, accessed 3/27/24; Media Matters, 2/13/24, 1/29/24]
    • In November 2023, YouTube removed a snippet of code that publicly disclosed whether a channel is monetized via ad or subscription payouts. Now, Super Chat revenue is one of the only metrics independent researchers can use to track which channels are monetized and quantify how much creators are profiting from their content. [Wired, 12/12/23]
    • YouTube takes a roughly 30% cut of Super Chat revenue. According to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, YouTube earned more than $65,000 from 100 videos on Pool’s channel between October 2020 and November 2021. [YouTube, accessed 3/21/24, accessed 4/4/24; Institute for Strategic Dialogue, 5/5/22]
    • Pool has claimed that YouTube’s content moderation policies are hollow and are “actually about their advertisers.” YouTube has policies that supposedly ban content that features hate speech, violent extremism, and criminal organizations. Despite those policies, Media Matters has repeatedly shown that YouTube has allowed creators who spread COVID-19 misinformation, anti-trans bigotry, and white supremacist narratives to monetize their problematic content. [YouTube, accessed 3/18/24, 3/18/24; Media Matters, 12/11/20, 3/6/24, 5/3/20]
  • Pool's YouTube channel has raised at least $1.3 million from Super Chat donations in the past 5 years, including on videos featuring extremists

    • Media Matters found that Pool's YouTube channel, Timcast IRL, raised over $1.3 million in Super Chat donations from August 24, 2019, through March 12, 2024. The channel should earn roughly 70% of that revenue, which accumulated over the course of 120,000 Super Chat comments on its videos. Media Matters’ analysis only includes donations made in U.S. dollars. [YouTube, accessed 4/4/24]
    • The top-earning video on Pool's channel — titled “EPSTEIN Court Documents Dropping, FL Passes Bill To Drop ALL GRAND JURY Docs” — earned nearly $20,000 in Super Chat donations. The video was also monetized, with ads appearing on the video. [Timcast IRL, 2/21/24]
    • Of the 20 highest-earning videos, 3 featured notorious conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones, whose content has been banned from YouTube. In a video that earned over $10,000 in Super Chat donations — Pool’s third highest-earning video in the period studied — Jones spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, including claims that Dr. Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates said that the COVID-19 vaccine “really doesn’t work” and that “there’s basically no immunity from the shot.” The Infowars host also claimed that President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election “by fraud.” Although some of these claims seemingly violate YouTube’s policies, the video remains on the platform, where it is monetized and has earned more than 2.5 million views. Other top-earning videos featuring Jones each drew more than $4,000 in Super Chat donations. [The Verge, 8/29/19; Timcast IRL, 11/16/21, 11/16/21; Boston University, 8/13/21; NBC News, 6/20/23; Reuters, 11/16/21; YouTube, accessed 3/22/24, accessed 4/4/24]
    • In another video featuring Jones, Pool commented on Super Chat donations flowing into the stream. He laughed and said, “People are just giving us money,” to which Jones replied, “That's how it works, Tim.”
  • Video file

    Citation From the November, 16, 2021 edition of Tim Pool's Timcast IRL

    • A video featuring rapper Ye (formerly Kanye West), white nationalist streamer Nick Fuentes, and Nazi-sympathizer Milo Yiannopoulos earned more than $7,000 in Super Chat donations — Pool's fourth-largest Super Chat amount. Fuentes has also been banned from YouTube for “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting hate speech.” During the video, which earned over $7,000 and over 1.4 million views, Ye went on an antisemitic rant and walked off set 20 minutes later. The following day, Pool praised the previous episode’s guests, saying that Yiannopoulos was “a genius” and calling Ye “smart.” [The Daily Dot, 2/14/20; Variety, 5/2/19; Media Matters, 11/29/22; YouTube, accessed 4/4/24]
  • Tim Pool has a history of platforming far-right figures and attacking the LGBTQ community

    • On YouTube, Tim Pool baselessly claimed a school teacher and an NBC News journalist were pedophiles. Pool attacked a teacher who had shared an LGBTQ-inclusive book with her students, saying, “I believe that the only reasonable assumption that can be made is that this teacher is a pedophile who is trying to groom children.” He also attacked the journalist who covered the story, arguing, “the only conclusion I can make is that the journalist is trying to protect pedophiles.” He added, “perhaps she is also a pedophile.” [Media Matters, 5/17/23]
    • On his YouTube show, Pool has claimed that “the LGBTQ community is now dominated by pedophiles.” He also claimed a Daily Dot journalist who wrote a report about use of the word “groomer” as an anti-LGBTQ slur was a “pedophile.” [Media Matters, 7/28/22, 7/22/22]
    • During an episode of Timcast IRL, Trump-aligned GOP consultant Alex Bruesewitz suggested that legalizing gay marriage has led to the normalization of “grooming,” and Pool agreed. Bruesewitz claimed that he initially had no issues with legalizing gay marriage, but “then five years later, six years later, somebody who was a woman for four days gets named Sports Illustrated woman of the year, Caitlyn Jenner, and now we're in this next phase of the transition into normalizing stuff and it’s the grooming crap.” Pool agreed and said that “it's because there's no end, right? They say the ends justify the means, but there is no end. Meaning no matter where you are, you're always moving in one direction.” [Media Matters, 3/30/22]
    • Pool has pushed extreme misogynist views on his YouTube show, once suggesting that “high value men” should shame women based on their number of sexual partners. [Media Matters, 8/28/23]
    • Even after a suspect was arrested, Pool falsely claimed that a news story about a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim was a “hoax.” After Biden mentioned the case to highlight the impact of restrictive abortion laws, right-wing pundits and politicians claimed the story was false. Days later, a suspect was arrested. He subsequently pleaded guilty to rape charges and was sentenced to life in prison. [Media Matters, 7/14/22; Rolling Stone, 7/13/22; CNN, 7/5/23]
    • Pool has also hosted numerous climate change deniers, far-right conspiracy theorists, anti-LGBTQ activists, and other bigoted figures on his show. Guests who have appeared on Pool’s show include former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio; Naomi Wolf, who has pushed COVID-19 conspiracy theories; the notoriously antisemitic founder of Gab, Andrew Torba; and QAnon conspiracy theorist Scott Presler. [Media Matters, 12/20/22]