Howdy all, My name is Tim Pool. In the past I worked for VICE and Fusion. My work has been featured internationally, in film and TV, though most of my work today is on Social Media.

I do not work for Vice or Fusion anymore, fyi. I am totally independent now.

Recently Donald Trump made statements about Sweden that sparked an international conversation. In light of this I decided to travel to Sweden to investigate for myself. The decision didn't come without controversy as many journalists told me I was following a fake news story and to let Swedish Journalists report their own news.

Needless to say what I found was interesting and in reality "closer to the middle" in regards to the left/right narrative.

Feel free to ask me anything about this or whatever.

Subscribe to my channel on Youtube - http://bit.ly/TimcastYT Follow me on Twitter - http://Twitter.com/Timcast Follow me on Instagram - http://Instagram.com/Timcast

Proof - https://twitter.com/Timcast/status/842082731878191104

Comments: 573 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

Partisanal103 karma

Hello Mr. Pool,

I am very grateful you did what you did in Sweden but I noticed that once your videos became more critical the mods of r/europe decided your videos were not "good content" and could not be posted without being taken down.

What would you say to them if you could?

Timcast140 karma

People can't handle reality.

I think our videos are very "balanced" we interviewed the social democrat mayor of Sodertalje as well as the controversial Chang Frick.

As an outsider I tried to get a wide range of perspectives, I think we did a good job.

_Quetzalcoatlus_59 karma

As a journalist, how concerned are you with portraying a false balance between two sides? It seems that journalists often portray issues as having two (or multiple) equally viable and legitimate perspectives, even if this is not the reality of the situation.

(Not accusing you of doing so in this situation, I am just curious)

Timcast56 karma

Yup, there aren't always "two sides" to a story.

In this instance we found the truth and then sought out different views on why and what should happen.

DrBeastMode78 karma

Swedish public service media called you "a threat to democracy". What do you think about them and the Swedish media in general?

Timcast123 karma

They just toe the line of the government.

Even when the police statement was clearly incorrect they repeated it without question.

There comes a time when a journalist has to say "this is demonstrably false" however instead they just insult me and my work.

drkstar0041 karma

Tim,

I believe that you are from Chicago. Can you provide us with an idea as to what you believe are some of the causes of the crime and shootings in Chicago, from what you have seen/heard?

Timcast84 karma

Gangs.

I'm from the southside, the gangs were cool to us as long as we weren't in a rival gang. I never had a problem but some friends did.

Chicago also has heavily segregated areas and that breeds racism and poverty.

daslle25 karma

Chicago also has heavily segregated areas and that breeds racism

Aren't the vast majority of shootings black-on-black?

Timcast53 karma

Yes, its gang related.

But what I mean is that racism leads to poverty which leads to more crime. I think many people exaggerate to what degree racism plays a role, but it does play a role.

ShutUrMouthBekowsky39 karma

Hey Tim, thanks for the AMA. I saw a lot of people in the YouTube comments saying to interview 'x' person because they have a unique point of view. Police officers, refugees, etc. Do you think you should have interviewed a more diverse crowd? Is there anyone who you wanted to interview but weren't able to?

Timcast87 karma

Most people refused to do interviews. We tried to avoid interviewing too many suggested people but did a few to make sure we did at least get some counter views.

However most people truly affected refused to speak unfortunately.

themeatbridge30 karma

Was there anything in particular that you were surprised people were afraid/unwilling to talk about?

Timcast132 karma

I was surprised to find that there actually are gangs of orphan migrant youths going around robbing people and sexually assaulting women. Many people don't want to talk about it but an MP in Uppsala recently came out and said it.

Mininni19 karma

How could you successfully verify that they were orphaned migrants?

Thanks for the insight. Enjoying the AMA.

Timcast65 karma

MP made a statement that was confirmed by police

EC-1010 karma

Sorry to hijack but I never understood a lot of these comments. A lot of the people mentioned were already public figures via youtube or what not. These people very clearly will state their opinions and post them on public forums. Why would you want someone who flew out to investigate Sweden to search out and talk to them when you can hear what they think any day of the week?

Timcast69 karma

Because Americans don't know who these people are, don't have time to condense their ideas, don't watch Swedish TV, and don't speak Swedish.

cow_moo_moo36 karma

Did it feel like most of Sweden is living in some kind of self imposed denial and do you fear any backlash now that you are home?

Timcast92 karma

It truly made me feel what "woke" means. There seem to be a lot of people who don't know, don't care, or are denying what is happening.

That being said, crime overall isn't that bad, it's just that they do see more crime from migrants and refugees than Swedish born.

Framtidens34 karma

In your interview with 3 guys in Rinkeby you never mention that they are all a part of the fringe conspiracy theorist organization Folkresningen de Fria who (among other things) are "skeptical" of the holocaust. Many of its members also believe that Sweden is being "invaded" by immigrants who are hired by the "deep state" to cause mischief by raping and murdering, for the "deep state" to more easily implement a police state.

Did they not tell you that they were all a part of this organization, or did you simply not mention it? If so - why?

Timcast21 karma

I was introduced to them as "from rinkeby"

I met them in a kebob shop in rinkeby. They talked to us about migration and growing up there.

The one guy really wanted to talk about fractional reserve banking but we weren't interested.

aj860033 karma

What are your thoughts on the ongoing Dutch election and the upcoming French election?

Timcast93 karma

I think the right is going to win, I'm not sure by how much but I think the results will at least show a growing trend of nationalism and conservatism.

EDIT: annnnd totally wrong on this one it seems.

I_am_a_Pixel17 karma

Odd forecast concerning France. The right candidate is caught up in a legal scandal, same for the far right (though people care less) and the far right candidate loses to every serious candidate in the polls if she makes it to the second round which admittedly she likely will. The overwhelming favourite in the french election is more of a social democrat candidate who's close to the right on economic topics but on the left concerning social issues.

Timcast35 karma

But if I had to make a bet I would bet on the nationalists.

Polls got Brexit and Trump wrong.

Poncho9031 karma

Did you feel pressured to give a picture of Sweden as a country with big cultural diffuculties because Paul Joseph Watson helped fund your work?

Timcast70 karma

No.

Our largest contributions came from Swedes and the single largest contribution came from a Swede.

In fact when we went to Malmo we found it rather peaceful, but as time went on and we interviewed more people we learned what was really going on. That and the Uppsala police made a statement about crime dramatically increasing while we were there.

mrstickball30 karma

What was your opinion of the Swedish issues before going into Sweden, and how would you say your perception changed after leaving the country?

Timcast97 karma

I thought Sweden was going to be a boring place just like most western countries. Low crime, chill, food, music, etc.

I learned that it is very socially repressive and I never want to go back.

They claim to have freedom of speech but they have hate speech laws on the books. As an American I am freaked out by this.

Jabadoo100154 karma

Tim are you aware that most Western countries have such laws? Including Canada, UK, Japan, France, Germany etc?

Timcast72 karma

Yea I am, and it is freaky.

I know someone who got criminally charged for making a sex joke once. It wasn't even funny or that offensive.

bahhh30 karma

Tim, What do you consider to be your most dangerous assignment?

Timcast56 karma

Venezuela.

I got accused of being a spy and had to flee the country.

Wk8827 karma

Tim, do you ever take off your beanie?

Timcast70 karma

I tried once but it's really stuck on there

NukeTheNarrative13 karma

Are you wearing your beanie right now? =)

Timcast32 karma

Did you see my AMA proof?

leanloser26 karma

Do you think self-censorship is a problem in the US as well? Better/worse than Sweden and do you see it as getting better/worse in recent years?

Timcast70 karma

It is a little bit but not a whole lot.

I will say, I've met a lot of Trump supporters who were scared to "come out."

Itsukarine25 karma

What is your current opinion of VICE news?

Timcast88 karma

I think the HBO show does a great job. I think the digital side of things, clickbaity partisan stuff, is a bit sad though.

EC-1023 karma

I want to start off saying, I really enjoyed your video series and following you through Sweden.

As a journalist investigating in a foreign area, I realize it is probably challenging, but how do you attempt to account for selection and anecdotal biases in your opinions or stories?

Timcast34 karma

I don't know if you can. I think people just need to realize that you need to view many different sources to get a clear picutre.

It's all about trust, do you trust the people you follow to be honest. Most news orgs who show hyperpartisan content are not trustworthy. They just play on your bias to get clicks.

1crumpygat122 karma

Considering where you've lived / traveled, where does Sweden rank in terms of women's safety walking alone?

Timcast38 karma

Most of the time it's fine but there are certain high traffic areas where women can get attacked at night.

All in all it is important to remember that these sexual assaults are rare but they do happen.

Rocco76817 karma

Tim,

I really enjoyed your series on Sweden, thank you and Emily for going. My question is this: You said the issue of "NO GO ZONES" is more of an issue of semantics (i.e. "what is..IS?") But after being there, and seeing it, Are there areas where the locals and law enforcement just do NOT go to, unless its absolutely necessary.

It seems the definition was debated more than the actual existence? I hope that made sense...?

Timcast58 karma

no!

The police go to the "no go zones" more than anywhere else! A true no go zone means no one can go there but due to an op-ed people have adopted the phrase to mean "problem area"

bahhh16 karma

In one of your recent videos on Sweden, you made a comment about conservatives wanting you to go into migrant areas and "harass" them, but you refused to do so. Is this true? I know you are trying to be nonpartisan, so it seemed an inflammatory comment to make, and it would be nice to know what exactly was said and the context. Thanks for your hard work!

Timcast49 karma

Many people were yelling at me for not showing up at midnight in an apartment complex to interview random people.

That would get you punched anywhere and I'm not going to do it.

EdDerulo15 karma

What do you think the future of Europe will look like in say 10, 20, 30 years, if things continue to go the same and people like Le Pen and Wilders don't win their elections?

Timcast52 karma

Ya know, its funny.

The Napoleanic wars, two world wars, the cold war, all with a big aim at consolidating power in Europe. By the end of the 20th century they all just agree to it anyway.

I think some kind of conflict is possible if nationalism increases. Many countries in the EU are in debt to other countries and that can lead to conflict.

trust4813 karma

what advice would you give to someone trying to create an independent news source.? Think Fresco combined with social media.

Timcast46 karma

Don't try to imitate existing media structures. Its all crashing, find a new way to do things. experiment.

BlakeFromWis12 karma

Hello Mr.Cast,

Do you think there will be a time in the near future where political correctness will be a thing of the past?

If so, what do you think we will have learned from our brush with political correctness? And what do you think will have been the driving force behind it disappearing?

edit due to rapid downvoting of this comment I think the thought of a world without political correctness offended a few folks, people, beings, animals, aliens, non traditional beings or pan-beings.

Timcast33 karma

political correctness is anti science, it is almost religious.

I believe racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and religious bias are all real problems, but we have to make sure we are being factual and objective in our discussion of the facts. It seems now people are more into "feeling over facts" and if thats true we will never overcome the actual issues.

I think PC culture comes and goes in waves. I definitely see it waning right now.

wilfwilfwilf11 karma

Hey Tim, thanks for the AMA. Viewer in Sweden here, really liked what you did. I noticed you addressed the criticism you got in the press here but did you also see the praise & support you received in mainstream media once you left? What did you think of the points raised in that?

Timcast21 karma

I think its not really about me but about Sweden's internal struggle over what is acceptable to say.

It seems the veil is being lifted.

AceHardgroin8710 karma

Thanks for the AMA Tim!

On a scale of 1-10, how bad would you say things are in Sweden overall?

1 being total catastrophe, Trump underestimated the severity of the problem

10 being everything's fine and Sweden is the European utopia we've all been conditioned to see

Thanks again!

Timcast38 karma

I'd say its a 7.

Sweden is safe and comfortable. They are experiencing "problems they never thought possible" but it is still relatively low compared to many other countries.

I think it is important to highlight that just because Sweden overall is very nice these problems do exist and are getting worse.

We shouldn't compare other countries to Sweden but we should look at the problems and figure out how to solve them.

Insertmeow10 karma

Considering how much you've seen, how safe is it to travel to Europe atm? And what was your biggest take away from your Sweden investigation?

Timcast44 karma

There are problem areas.

I went to Calais and some kid tried to steal some equipment from me. But when you go to poor areas where crime is higher this is expected.

Europe is mostly safe in my opinion, but just like any country they have bad areas. I will say that unchecked migration and failed integration will cause problems to escalate.

Hoopty509 karma

Hi Tim,

You say what you found was "closer to the middle" which I find unsurprising.

Do you think - or what percentage of - most social/societal issues are "closer to the middle" but news outlets skew them to fit their narrative? I'm a middle of the road type and distrust a lot of the news as it is presented because I feel like it's been slanted a certain way.

Thank you!

Timcast34 karma

The left ignores anything that makes them look bad and so does the right.

Most stories are closer to the middle.

I hate "journalism" today. Its just partisan nonsense.

Maybe I'll stop calling myself a journalist

imarvolo8 karma

Hey Tim How come Emily hardly ever speaks in your videos? :( I am her biggest fan. Vive Le Emily

Timcast20 karma

Because she needs more encouragement. go tweet at her

@momesmolli

ked3607 karma

As an independent, are you concerned about censorship on social media platforms that you use to publish your reports?

For example, accusations against twitter that they are favouring the "official story" on their platforms. Allegations against youtube as well that they are demonetizing videos for no apparent reason.

Timcast16 karma

Yup...

I've had a couple videos demonetized for not being advertiser friendly but thats why I have a patreon!

It is also why I make sure to post to different social platforms and also why I started focusing on youtube over twitter.

LeBrons_Mom6 karma

Tim, I have an American friend who moved to Stockholm about ten years ago. He has been complaining about what Trump said regarding increased violence/rape/etc. in Sweden. In your opinion, do you think he is living in an area that isn't affected and that the media isn't accurately reporting, or is he ignoring the problem if it is shown to the people through the media?

Timcast11 karma

Definitely ignoring the problem.

Send them this.

http://24uppsala.se/2017/03/03/uppsalapolisen-det-ar-en-oroande-utveckling/

JustAnHuman6 karma

Hello Tim,

Thank you very much for your investigation in Sweden. Do you think that Sweden could be seen as a "soft totalitarian" regime, "soft" in the sense that surely people wont end up in prison for speaking their mind, but still totalitarian since non PC thinking seem to end up in real life consequences?

From you coverage it is the feeling I got.

Timcast11 karma

I guess you could say that.

Its changing now though, more people are speaking up. But one of the biggest media outlets actually goes to private citizens houses and confronts them because of their opinions online. It seems crazy that huge organizations would go after private citizens like that.

u64_t6 karma

What are some other places in the world that you'd like to travel to and report on?

Timcast14 karma

Antarctica, North Korea, Great Barrier Reef, Chile, Svalbard.

The list goes on. I plan to travel everywhere.

HandsomeHarry6 karma

Hi Tim, First off I really enjoyed your journey. Thank you.

2 questions.

All sides of the politicial spectrum were framing your daily videos and experiences as aggressively and publicly as possible to fit their own narratives. Were you surprised?

When you were being escorted out of Rinkeby by the police, did it ever cross your mind to stick around close to your car to see how many people showed up and to see how violent they actually would be?

Timcast15 karma

Ha no! I said from the beginning that they would use it to fit their narrative and both the left and the right did. I feel like everyone has a little egg on their face. People need to chill out and realize that the truth is always closer to the middle.

2) We were trying NOT to have a confrontation we even took reasonable precautions, like holding the camera down and not pointing at peoples faces. I was worried that if we stuck around they would blame us for not following police advice.

Maplethorpej6 karma

Hey Tim!

Do you think there's a sustainable career path in the sort of independent journalism you do? Is personal branding the biggest part of this industry, or does content rule?

Thanks!

P.S. I've been following you since back in the Occupy Wall Street Days. Keep it up!

Timcast25 karma

Personal branding is a big key right now.

The reason is that trust is the #1 most important factor in delivering news. As the big news orgs lose reach and it disperses down to individuals people are looking for a selection of humans, not brands, to listen to.

AggressiveSloth5 karma

Slightly off topic but you mentioned you didn't like the social side of Sweden could you go into specifics?

Timcast14 karma

People are terrified to speak up because of social pressures. If you say anything offensive you could lose your job or your friends.

Most people stay inside an "opinion corridor" they call it.

PM_ME_WEED_AND_PUSSY5 karma

Why does VICE suck shit now? Is it totally or only mostly because Disney owns you now?

Timcast11 karma

I dont work there.

It must be because I quit 2 years ago! Nah Im jk... I have no idea why.

silverscrub4 karma

How would you compare Swedish cities with high crime rates and high immigration rates to American cities with lower immigration rates but still high crime rates? Are the crimes of different nature? What are the differences?

Timcast25 karma

Sweden has two problems.

Failed integration from previous migrants And foreign cultures from new refugees.

Crime comes from a lot of reasons, poverty being a big driving force.

Crime isn't a migrant issue but the two can be related

EER-Wax4 karma

I have never seen a photo of you without a beanie on. Do you have hair?

Timcast14 karma

No.

I wear the hat so that I can choose to be anonymous. People don't recognize me without it and sometimes that's a good thing.

Gourkan4 karma

Hello Tim! Do you believe that you can make an accurate assessment of the situation by just visiting for week? I've read the parachute journalism critique and I don't agree with the article, but is there some truth to it? That it's important to get the point across that this is just a slice and not the full picture, like maybe a correspondant could portray, who spends more time at the location.

Timcast10 karma

Americans don't speak swedish, don't watch Swedish TV, and don't know how to find good sources about it.

I went in to get a general statement from various people involved in the issue so that Americans can find an entry level view into the situation.

Tellsyouhow3 karma

Hi Tim. Did any of the people who refused to talk on camera tell you anything that is worth sharing with the pubic?

I presume since they refused to talk on camera it was all issues against the Swedish narrative that they had to say?

Although there are clearly changes happening to the Swedish mindset, do you believe that the mood of the majority of the public is starting to change since the refugee/rising crime topic is now mainstream there albeit with a MSM slant?

Are you planning to visit any other "famous" refugee hotspots in other European countries?

Timcast11 karma

Most of the issues people refused to talk about were witnesses to crimes, worked for government, or working in related fields.

They told us messed up stuff mostly about crime from refugees and how many of the new migrants refuse to integrate.

We are planning on returning to Europe soon!

badcompany1233 karma

Also, are you going to the Netherlands? You said in the past you're going to cover most of Europe (Brussels, Paris etc). I really hope you do, and I think if you announce that on Youtube/Twitter you're going to get alot of donations to do your work. People wanna know what's relaly going on.

Timcast7 karma

I am!

We are hoping to get back to Europe very soon but might be stuck in the US for a bit.

Right now we are planning on going to Dearborn, MI and Buffalo to see how integration is working in the US.

SwearWords3 karma

As independent/alternate media rises, what's a good way to prevent it from falling down the same pits as the MSM and becoming as untrustworthy?

Timcast8 karma

You can't.

You just need to verify your news sources then hope you can trust them.

InfieldFlyRule3 karma

Which is more dangerous -- "bad areas" in Malmo, or Queens, NYC?

I'm wondering about Queens because Bronx is obviously more dangerous than anywhere in Malmo

Timcast9 karma

bad areas in malmo.

NYC is actually really safe.

Berrlon3 karma

WHO IS YOUR DADDY AND WHAT DOES HE DO?

Timcast10 karma

My dad is Michael Pool, he is a retired Lt. Firefighter who now works at a national park.

lorentz-try7 karma

The question is from an Arnold Schwarzenegger prank call - I don't think it was serious. But thanks for the serious answer.

Timcast6 karma

Ha I know, it was an old sound board.

Hummuscle3 karma

Hi Tim, thanks for doing this. You've inspired me to start doing Journalism.

My question is: how do you make it work financially as an independent? I understand it's a case of just starting and putting it out there, but that's difficult with zero starting capital.

Thanks again, hopefully I get the privilege to work with you one day.

Timcast11 karma

I started with 0$ and a phone. I did it for fun.

While working at VICE I slept on my friends couch and just saved almost every penny.

Save save save, then travel somewhere.

Milana Vayntrub shot an amazing documentary on her cell phone!

DaveShoelace3 karma

Other than Patreon what do you think the best monetisation strategies will be to get good quality journalism without any conflicts of interest? For individual journalists and companies alike.

Timcast3 karma

Patreon might be it, it is a direct subscription to my content without any strings attached.

Maybe campaign funding with GoFundMe but patreon really is better.

whatdidhesayxd2 karma

How do you feel about being downvoted even in your neutral answers? What is this.

Timcast4 karma

comes with the territory.

Left praised my early coverage Right praised my later coverage

People just want to confirm their biases

shweppesdrinker2 karma

do you think you will ever go back to Sweden?

Timcast4 karma

Yea, Maybe.

I say I dont want to go back but who knows

LanceDragonDance2 karma

I've been thinking about getting into journalism.I have no idea of where I should start. Well, except with maybe majoring in English but I don't know what I should do in between community college and a four-year institution in the mean time to get a better idea of what to do. What would you recommend?

Timcast7 karma

I'm a high school drop out.

I spent my time doing what I want when I want. I travel around and find interesting stories and report on it.

School is good for connections but the truth is that you have to just go do journalism.

Look at Emily(my AP) she's 22 and just out working on these projects.

natethenader2 karma

How was it working with Gavin Mcinnes?

Timcast5 karma

Never worked with him. He left in 2007 I started in 2013. VIce news launched 2014

smart18902 karma

do you think that you will ever put together a news organization that will do more of what you do, i.e. vlog newscasting/reporting....?

I know you said once that you believe in that kind of news delivery and it seems to give me a very clear picture of what other news organizations distort.

Timcast11 karma

Im trying to right now. If I can raise at least 5k per month on Patreon (currently around 2500) I will hire people!

vasubandu2 karma

When you were investigating, were you attempting to prove or disprove a hypothesis or simply trying to discover what was there? I do not mean did you have a preconception of the answer because you plainly didn't. I am asking what the question was: either (a) Is there a crime wave in Sweden; or (b) How does crime affect the lives of Swedes today? I am curious if you see those questions differently (I do, but not a journalist) and if so how.

Timcast11 karma

We discovered rather quickly there is in fact an increase in violent crime in Sweden. We then sought out the why.

Ayy_2_Brute1 karma

How do you respond to the accusation that Vice "has ushered in a new low for its treatment of freelance journalists", published in the Columbia Journalism Review? Do you think Vice should be doing more to treat its freelancers better?

Timcast6 karma

Last I heard they started doing much better. They have a bad history though.

Overall I think VICE as a whole is one of the better media orgs but that doesn't mean they don't fuck up, and bad sometimes.

Watermeleanor1 karma

Tell me about TweetDeck! Do you use it? What's most valuable for you to do your job?

Timcast2 karma

I have a second monitor on 24/7 with news alerts set up.

On a scale of 1-10. 1 being garbage, 10 being amazing.

I give it a 4. It's there but sometimes a general twitter feed is better.

SuperMonkeyNews1 karma

Also is there a good GoPro grip with stabilizer you can recommend?

Our version of B&H is Samy's camera which is conveniently next door.

Timcast5 karma

GoPro Karma grip is the BEST camera/gimbal I've used and I have used a lot.

08November20161 karma

Swedish police asserted that they did not escort you out of Rinkeby. (They did.) How dangerous do you think that situation was? Would have been able to walk away had the police not intervened? What did your Spidey-sense tell you?

Timcast1 karma

I dont think it was that dangerous but I didnt want to be accused of started a fight or ignoring police advice.

Im not sure what would have happened but we definitely got followed out.

helixine-2 karma

How is it neutral and objective when you started by following almost only Swedish far right, right wing populists and conspiracy theorists on twitter? The ones that found this to be "unbiased" on twitter seem to have been pretty much only people that also retweets Infowars.

How is repeating the right wing populists myths "not allowed to talk about immigration" ""Sweden has social justice censorship" and and similar conspiracy theorists anything like "close to the middle"?

You decided that its a "left vs right" thing early on, and anyone that dont follow the the narrative of "social justice censorship in Sweden" is just "the left". But since its not something the normal right wing and conservatives believe, is it then "the middle" when even conservatives are pushed into "the left" for this worldview is to work?

Timcast5 karma

You left out interviewing a psychologist, the deputy mayor from Malmo, the mayor of Sodertalje, the actual refugees and migrants.

So yea it does look biased when you ignore half the work I did.