Heya Reddit, I'm Philip DeFranco, a Youtuber who has been creating content/launching channels for 10+ years. I run the Philip DeFranco Show, a daily news/pop culture show that aims to inform, entertain, and drive conversation in as unbiased a way as possible. The show is coming back from Christmas Break tomorrow and I wanted to start 2017 off by answering any questions you may have about me, my life, Youtube, the business of online video/social media, news, and really anything that you'd like to ask.

Proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezRDAyPKnU4

Edit: Thanks for the past 4 hours. I'm going to go back through tomorrow and start pulling questions that I didn't get a chance to get to and answer some more in a video or 2. Love yo faces!

Comments: 11129 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

cekmeout3178 karma

Hi Phil, what was the most difficult story for you to cover on PDS?

PhillyDeFranco4964 karma

Difficult emotionally- Anything that involves children. Becoming a father made me much more empathetic to others, but it also made me more of an emotional rage monster when it comes to anyone who hurts kids. As someone who prides himself of being unbiased its hard to maintain that when it comes to a pedophile/abuser. If there was a way to sign up, I would sign up to personally curbstomp child abusers.

Difficult to report on: It was a challenge to cover the election this year. People hate each other for political beliefs all the time, but this year was next level. The episodes I did after Trump won were very challenging, because emotions on both sides were peaking. I had people in my office literally crying because Hillary lost, and heard from friends of similar experiences in their work places. There was a lot of gloating online from some Trump supporters. If you just peeked at facebook/text chains, people were blowing up their relationships left and right because of the election. But it also gave me an opportunity to be someone who tried to unite those on the left, right, and moderate. I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that.

SteesusChrist3077 karma

Hey Phil! What do you consider the "biggest" backlash you got from one of your news videos?

PhillyDeFranco6221 karma

Most backlash comes from people who are one-and-doners. People who tune into one episode and just shout LEFTY SJW CUCK or NAZI RIGHT WING RACIST!

Example: There are people who are classic feminists and I love and respect them. They believe in equality of men and women and are down for conversations to get us to a point of understanding, BUT there are people in that same group who are toxic, regressive, and guilty of the things they say they are against. So when I make a video where I am very critical of a person like the one I just described, and I get called a woman hater by someone just tuning in.

If I criticize Trump, there are people who watch me that know I would and have done the same exact thing to Obama or Hillary, but for someone tuning in for the first time, sometimes they toss my opinion to the side because they think I'm a Republican hating super liberal.

Opinions aren't always the best for business, but I love the conversation too much to stop sharing mine and listening to yours. I know that I'll keep the audience and people I want, and shed those that can't deal with that.

LemonDesu2203 karma

What's the best fan experience you've had?

PhillyDeFranco6306 karma

A beautiful bastard named James, gave my father a kidney. This was after hundreds of people applied to get checked to see if they were a match for a transplant. I was emotionally blown away, and am still thankful and shocked to this day that people cared enough to help.

If you don't know my story, my father and I both have PKD, which slowly kills our kidneys. One day I'll have to be on dialysis and/or get a transplant as well.

conspiracyeinstein1507 karma


GarrioValere1395 karma

Which organ, and where are you giving it to him? ಠ_ಠ

PhillyDeFranco2761 karma


georgeenagin2106 karma

have you had any scary fan encounters?

PhillyDeFranco3313 karma

Whats nice about my audience is that for the most part everyone is really nice and respectful. No one has ever threatened/harassed me IN PERSON or done anything negative on purpose when they meet me. Worst case, you have someone who is just very very excited and isn't equipped for that social situation, so they shut down or get a little bit weird/have no sense of personal space/get a little stalky at events like Vidcon. I'm a weird awkward anxious person, but I have years of faking being a socializing normie though, so I am as helpful/respectful as possible.

I attribute this to my audience being a bit older and mentally mature compared to many other youtube audiences/fandoms. Also that when I share my opinions most know I open to a conversation or debate on the topic and don't think of myself as infallible.

deepakvk95646 karma

Yeah, was it creepy when I said hi??

PhillyDeFranco2422 karma

No, but I really wish your hand hadn't been so sticky...

roaringcorgi1921 karma

You've talked recently about wanting to create a news network, any new developments or ideas in that regard?

PhillyDeFranco3417 karma

There are a few things in the way right now. Current legal/contract obligations and to do what I REALLY REALLY want to do, I will need full creative control, investment AND it has to be money from someone that doesn't want to control the "angle" of the network. Someone who just believes in me and what I want to do.

There are more independents and moderates than ever. Everyone goes left or right because often emotions control views, but I want to showcase what both sides are saying and let people come to their own conclusions.

TLDR: Worst case, ask me again next year ;)

PiBBzYx1676 karma

Do you think theres a lack of accountability in the YouTube scene? Like when you look at what Tmartn and Tom Syndicate did with the whole CSGO betting thing and the probably hundred of YouTubers who dont disclose sponsorship deals properly, but nothing in terms of repercussions ever seems to happen?

Do you think things need to be tighter or they need to be punished, or is this happening but most people dont hear about it?

PhillyDeFranco3469 karma

I've expressed this to both Tmartn, Tom, and other major players who don't properly explain that what they are putting out is a paid sponsorship or something they will profit from: IF YOU AREN'T UPFRONT ABOUT YOUR SPONSORSHIPS, YOU ARE LYING TO YOUR AUDIENCE AND YOU'RE BEING A DIRTY SHADY CUNT.

As far as accountability there is more and more these days. Will there ever be a perfect system...probably not. Will people still abuse it and try to sneak sponsorships, yes. The more mainstream Youtube becomes, the more governments have become aware and stepped in. I'm not a big believer in government restrictions, but when it comes to people being shady and lying to their audiences, I think those people need to be held accountable/penalized.

ironboy391269 karma

Who do you watch the most on YouTube?

PhillyDeFranco1771 karma

Gary Vaynerchuck's DailyVee and Joe Rogan's video podcast the most these days.

Also a big fan of TLDToday, Marques Brown, The Rubin Report and thats where I'm going to end the list because it'll turn into me just listing all my subscriptions.

Captain_Pazz942 karma


On one of your videos a while back you mentioned that you were an atheist who carries some baggage from the Catholic church. Being an atheist who carries some baggage from the Mormon church, I was excited to hear that.

I understand not wanting to offend or alienate your audience, but I think problems in religion can only be solved if people speak openly and freely about them. With that said, what are some of your current thoughts on religion and what do you think the future holds for faith?

PhillyDeFranco2660 karma

I want there to be a God, but I don't believe there is one. I'd actually be horrified if there was one. A God that would allow childhood cancer, Alzheimer's disease, natural disasters like the earthquake/tsunami that killed around 240,000 people back in 2004 is no friend of mine. And thats without jumping into the horrors of things like war and genocide where men are pulling the strings. You can say its a challenge/test, but thats a pretty demented test. Thats the way you play a twisted game of Sim City you are bored with, not people.

BUT, before you run off. Hear me out.

I have no issue with religion as long as it doesn't take away someones rights. As long as you aren't preaching about someone being lesser, just because of the way they were born. As long as its about the love your family, love your neighbor, put more good in the world stuff, I am fine with it. Even though I don't believe I'll let my children know what other people believe. I'll recommend reading the books of many faiths, because being informed is always a good thing. If they want to test the waters, I'll go to church with them.

As far as the future, organized religion isn't going anywhere right now. I think believing in something larger than yourself is comforting, and can also be very important.

OldRedditWasHacked926 karma

What is the difference of the YouTube community from 10 years ago to now? (i.e. knowing all the top people or there being a lot less before and a lot more now)

PhillyDeFranco1227 karma

I actually think its way better, but that may just be my personal experience. The biggest thing I hear is that the community used to be way closer. Its still very close, but its so big that there are just a ton of different friend circles.

Yes, there are negatives like people being FAKE and using others for personal channel growth and money, but those people have always existed. Yes, there is a lot more "drama", but that is just the inclusion of youtuber's into celebrity gossip. Also at times the community can be blood thirsty, like when everyone wanted to kill the Fine Bros and they cheered on/live-streamed their massive sub loss. BUT in general I believe in the good of the community.

Its important that whether it be about Youtube or anything in life, that you don't put on your rose colored glasses and romanticize the past. Things change, and the most you can do is put in, what you want to see more of in the future. Its one of the reasons I constantly promote small creators when I can. Its harder to blow up on youtube organically so if I can promote creators I think are good, it will in theory, make the site as a whole better.

Grace_Wincer720 karma

Would you ever consider running for political office?

PhillyDeFranco803 karma

I've joked about it before, but I feel like I can do more good out of office. That said...DEFRANCO 2024!! :-p

ItsSchilling709 karma

What Happened to the podcast? Do you not post it to soundcloud anymore?

PhillyDeFranco821 karma

I don't know why the episodes went away (I saw a few others mentioning this). I'll have to look into it. Das weird. That said, be on the lookout for both new episodes on Soundcloud/iTunes and more guests on the Youtube show in the next 2 months.

Siink7614 karma

Hello Phil, what was you favorite Game, Movie and TV show of 2016?

I really wish you'd make a video about that every year because I do like your taste.

PhillyDeFranco1080 karma

I share too much, everyone underneath already knows my favorites. lol

Westworld, Black Mirror season 3 was amazing, Mr. Robot, Game of Thrones had one of its best seasons to date, and I can't remember if it was in 2016 but the last season of House of Cards completely redeemed that setup season imo.

Movies: Arrival, Rogue One, Don't Breathe, Green Room, and...gah this is hard. I'll add La La Land. It made me feel things.

Video Games: I've played the fewest number of video games this year because I got so busy. My go to is Rocket League bc I can play for 15 minutes or 3 hours. ooo wait. I'll get shit for this but I played the campaign for Infinite Warfare over christmas break and loved it. It was the first COD campaign I've played in 3/4 iterations and it was fantastic imo.

blue-eyed-queen606 karma

Do you ever find it difficult to remain unbiased in the PDS? I admire your work Phil! been following since 2007!

PhillyDeFranco822 karma

No. I present the facts. I present the arguments from all the involved parties. AND THEN I let you know this is separate and give my opinion on the topic. I think its why people trust me. They know what they are disagreeing with is my opinion and not if the info I'm saying is mean to mislead. Also because if the facts turn out to be different or something was a hoax, I will own it and inform them, instead of being fine with them thinking a falsehood is true.

headbobbin_ichabod554 karma

Crunchy peanut butter or smooth?

PhillyDeFranco1051 karma

Heres the deal...it doesn't matter. Some people like crunchy peanut butter and others prefer being HORRIBLE MONSTER CREATURES! To each their own.

DoctorNinja8888518 karma

What are some of your favorite youtubers you watch for nonbiased news?

PhillyDeFranco1557 karma

I don't watch others on youtube for nonbiased news. I do tune in to see what their left/right opinions are. Its why I will check in to see what TheYoungTurks, HuffPo, Breitbart, and The_Donald are saying about a topic.

You can't really have a productive conversation with people if you aren't listening to whats being said.

zethrick513 karma

Hey Phil. I've been watching on and off for as long as I remember. I want to thank you, your wife and your son for creating content and entertaining me, helping me power through my depression for as long as you have. It means the world, you make the world a better place.

My question to you is: How do you balance life at home, friends and work? Also; as someone genuinely interested in doing Youtube as a hobby, albeit mostly video game related, what can I do to get myself out there properly?

PhillyDeFranco500 karma

Well first thanks for being a part of this weird experiment :)

As far as balance, it is what I struggle with the most. I have found that one of the three will always suffer. Family is at the top of the pyramid for me though. If my family needs me I would abandon the show to help. Luckily I have very understanding and supportive friends/family. That wasn't always the case, but you should try to limit the number of negative influences in your life. <--That gets much easier when you leave home imo.

As far as how to get yourself out properly/marketing yourself from ground zero, that is an incredibly hard question. It depends on the genre. If you have no connections, I would say try streaming first. I've found a ton of smaller creators on Twitch because I went to see what games were trending and then clicked on the stream of the 10th person down on list of live viewers, because their thumbnail looked interesting. That and work with others as often as possible.

Before marketing I would say focus on the quality first. IT WILL SUCK AT FIRST, so fail when only a few people are looking while you can. Look at the genre you want to break into, and borrow what you like, change/tweak the things you don't like, and add your own personality/flair into the content.

CrippledFingerz492 karma

Hey, Phil! Long time part of the nation; I started watching you in 8th grade, and now I'm in med school. Crazy how fast things go.

I was just curious what it was that made you go from someone who didn't want to get married, to a person with a beautiful wife and son. Where in your life was that transition in your mind made? I feel as though I'm in a similar position you began in.

Thanks for doing this AMA!

PhillyDeFranco986 karma

First off, congrats on surviving Organic Chemistry 2. Thats what killed me and made me realize I didn't want to go down that path.

I still don't "believe" in marriage. I don't think its something people should aim for or see as a success. I feel like that mindset hurts the relationship. I knew I wanted to be with Lindsay for the long haul and have babies with her, but I personally didn't need to put a piece of paper on it and involve the government. BUT she really believed in it, she cared about it, and I cared about her so I proposed.

Keep in mind, I say all of this as a happily married man. I just don't think people should AIM for marriage or need it to feel complete or loved.

clearlybritish431 karma

What were your thoughts when your wife first started vlogging, and how have they changed now?

PhillyDeFranco513 karma

I have even more respect for her since she started vlogging again. The way she is able to manage the channel, while being an amazing mother, AND have a few side projects at the same time. The way she is able to share her stories of anxiety, depression, and self doubt, all without realizing the great impact it can have on people dealing with the same things. You can check her out here TheDeFrancoFam

Ash3070163 karma

You know Linz clogged before Trey & marriage, right? You can stillview her older vlogs on her old channel- I'd love to know though if anyone ever recognises him as Lindsay Defranco's husband 😁

PhillyDeFranco703 karma

For a second I thought clog was a weird sexual term and I was like, "WTF YOU SAY ABOUT MY WIFE MATE?!"

lungithrow415 karma

Hey Phil! Thanks for doing this AMA.

Is there anything about the Youtube creator community most people don't know about?

PhillyDeFranco1406 karma

Theres a secret monthly orgy. 500k subs and up only.

BilboTheBarrelRider412 karma

Hi Phil! I'm Gordon and I've been a beautiful bastard of the nation since 2009! You've helped me grow up with a better perspective on things and I'm thankful for that! Now for my question:

What happened to the monkey intro? Is it ever going to come back?

PhillyDeFranco545 karma

I cut it and don't see it coming back soon. The inclusion of an intro actually seemed to hurt video views. Jumping into the story/content as fast as possible helped our watch-through rate, which in turn boosted my videos in the youtube algorithm. Youtube rewards videos that keep people watching longer on youtube.

PS. Thanks for being a beautiful bastard and not running away :)

I_Am_Not_A_Robot_Bro411 karma

Have you ever realized that if you made a nation out of the "nation", you would lead the 118th most populous country?

With that in mind, how would you rule your country?

And of course most importantly, who is the most beautiful bastard in the nation??

PhillyDeFranco518 karma

How? Horribly. Most Beautiful? Ryan Gosling

TruShanez400 karma

What's one of your guilty pleasures?

PhillyDeFranco1105 karma

Like Spice Girls or r/RealGirls guilty pleasure? lol

TelaTi23321 karma

Hi Phil! I admire your empire :)

How did you originally start promoting your content & what was your tipping point towards becoming a huge YouTuber?

PhillyDeFranco458 karma

We had video responses back in the early days of Youtube. On top of making rant videos about news topics, I would make parody's/video responses to whatever was trending on Youtube's homepage. Also putting a very attractive girl in the thumbnail aka clickbaiting supercharged my early growth. Clickbaiting back then was the only way to compete with all the other people out there who were just buying views from click farms.

Whats funny is now I get fewer views if there are boobs in the thumbnail, so my thumbnails often include my stupid face FRONT AND CENTER.

I don't know if there was ever a tipping point though. I was a slow grower.


iOmarr272 karma

What are some of your favourite memories at Sourcefed?

PhillyDeFranco504 karma

All the early days. We didn't fully know where it would take us. I will pat myself on the back til the day I die over my selection of the first 3 and then first 6 hosts. Such fun weird times. Also the first time I did a DeFranco Does live event with Steve and Joe.

tracer2ft268 karma

Hey Phil! I love your channel and have been watching for years and even got a ton of Marines to start watching it while I was in! You are fantastic!

I don't mean to be rude with this question, but it seems your videos have slowly switched to more "gossip" news (YouTube drama and what not) and not so much about actual real news (Russian ambassador assassinated on 12/20/2016) as it used to be. I was wondering if there was a reason for this? Is this for more views? Which I could totally understand! Just wondering if there was more of a reason? Legal reasons ? Harder to find full details?

Thanks you if you answer this! Love your face!

PhillyDeFranco456 karma

  1. Thanks for watching, serving, and spreading common sense :)
  2. The answer is actually lame. In December I was impacted the harshest from trying to quit my adderall prescription. My energy was snuffed out, the other lesser stories didn't require as much time, and from mid december I was using back up editors, so I tried to limit how long the shows were to make sure we could get a quality show up on time.

Thanks for the question!


As a youtube OG how do you feel about how youtube treats it's content makers and it's viewers?

PhillyDeFranco373 karma

They do an okay job. Their main problem in my opinion is communication, internally and with creators. Example: There were people in the organization who didn't realize Youtube Heroes was a program that was launching, until they saw my video on it.

I think as long as they realize this flaw and actively work on it, we are headed in a good direction. Sometimes the only way to get them to notice/respond is to make videos complaining, which I hate. It makes us seem like angry spoiled children, when we're really just contractors looking for answers from a company that isn't always the most forthcoming.

bamfbanki257 karma

Hey Phil! I've been a fan since I was 11-12 (I'm 18 now) and I'd like to ask you-

How do you feel about the fact that you've had fans that have been watching you all of their lives growing up?

How do you feel or did you ever realize you've helped shape people's adolescence?

Thank you,


PhillyDeFranco339 karma

Its what I love. We've never met, but I've had the opportunity to hopefully help you become the full version of yourself, even if you don't agree with my POV. That is so exciting to me. When people tell me I helped them with an opinion, choice, and/or career path it makes me feel so fulfilled. Love yo face and have a great one Cara :)

ThePurpleTowelette234 karma

What do you think the impact of "fake news" will be in 2017? Do you think "common sense" will prevail?

PhillyDeFranco216 karma

Common sense prevail? No. Humans more often than not are controlled by their emotions over logic. But as long as we can continue to grow the number of involved, interested, and open people I will take that as a win.

doosa1233 karma

Why are you so god damn sexy Philip?

PhillyDeFranco599 karma

Your low standards?

JanzoMan226 karma

Wierdest porn you have watched ? (someone had to ask it)

PhillyDeFranco246 karma

Watched? Probably the TMNT parody on WoodRocket. I covered it on the show. As far as in actual consumption, its pretty tame; asian granny choking cake farts. Obviously...

doogal_uk212 karma

I think you're pretty great at interviewing, can we see more of this in the future?

PhillyDeFranco202 karma

In the form of podcasting, yes. I don't like press junkets or anything like that. HATE THAT!

justwalkedintomordor156 karma

Hey Philip I love your work dude! Keep puttin more good in the world. What's your go-to drink/booze-thingy? - a beautiful bastard

PhillyDeFranco379 karma

I'm loving tequila anything more and more...except Tila.

TheLetterKappa155 karma

What kinda music are you into?

PhillyDeFranco634 karma

Eminem, Hamilton, Nas, Kid Cudi, Chance The Rapper, mostly early Kanye, and "Barbie Girl" by Aqua.

teeleer114 karma

Have you ever met a person featured on your show as douche bag of the day or Bamf of the day irl, and if so, what was the interaction like?

PhillyDeFranco317 karma

Yeah, Joey Salads. Awkward, but I stood by my opinion. I try to give people a chance, but if you're a cunt, you're a cunt. The time I saw him was after he did the fake muslim vs christian bomb prank. I haven't seen him in person since he posted that video where faked a group of black guys destroying a trump car. I think the guy is a straight up scum bag, but I believe he legitimately thinks hes a good person.

greeneggsandhamsam106 karma

Do you think there are still avenues and ways for aspiring creators to "hit it big" on YouTube anymore?

The reason I ask is because it seems like a lot of the guys that are getting big nowadays seem to be either heavily promoted by already popular YouTubers, or they randomly have a fluke video go viral.

PhillyDeFranco112 karma

Its possible without help, but it is far far far more probable if you have help. Its one of the reasons I do TodayInAwesome and consistently check my subreddit to see if the community found something awesome I can share with my larger audience.

theofficialbaldeagle96 karma

Do you keep making money on videos even after you post or like 1yr old videos?

PhillyDeFranco137 karma

We do, but it is far less because most of my views come from the first 36 hours it is up. In fact if it doesn't get shared somewhere, 1/2 the views usually come from the first 3-5 hours.