Web Video / Thunderf00t


Science and Education for the win!

Thunderf00t (aka: Phil Mason) is an atheist YouTube video blogger.

He is famous for his series of videos Why Do People Laugh at Creationists? where he lampoons the Young Earth Creationists; in addition of those he has also made scientific videos and exchanges between fellow video bloggers. He also regularly analyzes the views of several feminists in his videos, pointing out fallacies and other illogical statements. Privately, he works as a researcher for an institute of healthcare.

His YouTube channel can be found here, and his web blog here.

Tropes associated with Thunderf00t:

  • Arch-Enemy: His channel's history can be marked by the people/targets he's focused his videos on. Early on his main subject was creationist VenomFangX, then libertarian howtheworldworks. Later on the target of his ire was feminist blogger Rebecca Watson. However, the most famous case is his years-long obsession with Anita Sarkeesian.
  • Ad Hominem: Thunderf00t hates Ad Hominems with a passion. While he is often rude, he always tries to explain why someone is stupid.
  • Artistic License Economics: While he is very professional and knowledgeable in the field of his expertise such as biology and physics, his understanding on economic concepts such as the definition of what a 'free market' stands for was questionable at best.
    • Averted with his criticism of Solar Roadways, in which he actually points out this trope from the part of the proposers, while going through all the cost-benefit analysis and the actual economics involved if such project is ever realized.
  • Artistic License - Statistics: When he tries to explain his argument about victims' responsability in rape he makes an equation so absurd it will makes you wonder if he has ever taken a course in statistics. Instead of modeling it like a logit or a probit model, he models a probabilty as the multiplicative product of some factors. Either Thunderf00t thinks all you need to avoid rape is to take one of the factors to 0 (it doesn't even matter which one) and you will be immune to rape or he has no idea what he is talking about.
  • Berserk Button: Publicly badmouth science and education and it's guaranteed that he will deliver several verbal beat-downs on you.
    • Likewise he reacts very strongly towards anything that approaches censoring free speech.
    • Indoctrinating impressionable young children with religious and/or anti-intellectual beliefs.
    • His biggest is probably creationists' tendency to attack and disdain the scientific method, despite the fact that that same method is what allows them to live the lifestyle they do today.
    • He also hates people who push for Double Standards and reject egalitarianism. His stance against Anita Sarkeesian even has brought him death threats merely for speaking up his mind and saying where he thinks she and others are wrong and his employer got emails claiming that Thunderf00t is a nazi, among other things. He laughed it off in a public video but also reminded his viewers that people who aren't as nice as him would sue and people who had much less trusting employers could indeed be easily silenced this way just because their opinion differs on something.
  • Broken Pedestal: P.Z. Myers became this for him, after a falling out with him because of several disagreements on the topic of feminism and the censoring of dissent, which culminated in the expulsion of Thunderf00t from FreeThoughtBlogs right after he was invited.
  • Catch Phrase: 'An argument should stand on its merits.' (See Double Standard below)
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh yes, to show how ridiculous an argument can be.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In response to some folks, including one insane woman who called Thunderf00t a Nazi leading a hate mob of 329,000+ people, who also wrote letters to his employer (including death threats if they keep him employed), media, and law enforcement in the Czech Republic about his online activities (mainly his videos where he debunks Anita Sarkeesian), his response was to doc-drop said woman who signed the letter by making a video showing where she worked (along with the Yelp page for said workplace which his fans found). And since the said woman's business, unlike Thunderf00t's profession, collects and handles customer residential information on a frequent basis (by necessity- she has to know where to send her employees to do their jobs), the implication resulting from this doc-dropping exchange would and in fact did end up hurting her much more than it did Thunderf00t, something that would be hard for anyone to imagine him not having foreseen.
  • Double Standard: Pointed out in a video, on how some prominent people in the videogame industry take Anita Sarkeesian's ideas seriously, while dismissing the ones from the likes of Jack Thompson and Glenn Beck, since they both essentially advocate that videogames affect the behavior of gamers (something that has been debunked by recent studies), provoking violence according to Thompson and Beck and misogyny according to Sarkeesian.
  • Fauxtivational Poster: He is very fond of using them to get points across.
  • Face Palm: He does this a lot, whenever he hears asinine arguments, usually using a Fauxtivational Poster.
  • For Science!: Some of his videos like taking a cold shower and another working out, both in front of an infrared camera.
  • Fun with Acronyms: His personal brand of atheism is called PEARL, which stands for Physical Evidence And Reasoned Logic.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Detractors have accused him of guilt by association when it comes to Muslims, and, in one of his anti-Islam videos, he claimed that "Moderate Muslims" didn't condemn acts of terrorism and then pointed at a "moderate muslim" who seriously demanded the destruction of human rights. Critics point out in this case that one asshole out of millions doesn't prove the majority.
  • Humiliation Conga: Famously he delivered one to Christian vblogger VenomfangX, after several exchanges which culminated with the latter unfairly DMCAing Thunderf00t's videos, the counterattack was epic.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His explanation of his actions after being expelled from FreeThoughtBlogs, in which he published and forwarded the emails of the FTB private backchannel where the members discussed and plotted on how to ruin the careers and lives of all those in the secular community who had said dissented from FTB. On the other hand, the list contained private information on the private lives of the bloggers, prompting one transgender blogger to quit due to the risk, and the FTB community claims that it was an unnecessary and vindictive breach of backchannel privacy.
  • Implied Death Threat: Infamously, he received one from Muslim video blogger Dawahfilms, after several videos Thunderf00t made critical of Islam.
    • He also received several from hardline fans of Anita Sarkeesian, again simply for speaking up his mind.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While many people, like fellow video bloggers AronRa and C0nc0rdance among others, have manifested discomfort on the way he answers some critics, they concede that his points are solid and well-thought.
  • Leet Speak: His name is spelled with two zeros instead of o's.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The double "o" becoming a double "0".
  • Looks Like Jesus: Despite being an atheist, an irony which was not lost on Encyclopedia Dramatica, who in true fashion tore into both For the Lulz. Similarly, fellow youtube atheist AronRa joked about it in one of his speeches.
  • The Mean Brit: He has a British accent and a strong case of Deadpan Snarker.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Several videos deal with seemingly mundane things like explosions of potassium and water, and then he starts showing how interesting are the chemical mechanisms involved and pointing out at unanswered questions. In fact, he is the primary author of a paper published in the science journal Nature challenging the nature of the beginning of the alkali in water reaction.
  • Network Decay: Describes the feminist movement as this, since this new (as of 2016) generation of 'feminists' like Rebecca Watson and Anita Sarkeesian reject egalitarianism, push a double standard, and are actually idolized by the movement at large for having gone very fundamentalist about their ideologies and abandoned all pretense of the movement's own dictionary definition.
    • This later extends to feminist-led atheist movement known as Atheism+, which he notes as not only willing to resort to censorship and anti-skeptic behaviours despite, like any politically-active atheist movement, priding itself in freedom and skepticism but also just as prone to appeal to arbitrary attributes as religious fundamentalism is except only that whereas religious fundamentalists pay deference to scholarships of particular religious texts or edicts, Atheism+ bestows authority based on genders, skin colours, sexual orientations etc.

    Thunderf00t: I make badass videos on YouTube 'cause that's a world more interesting than a bunch of losers who think that being a laundry list of minorities or having a laundry list of disabilities somehow entitles them to have everyone else listen to their whiny-ass tantrums.

  • N-Word Privileges: He analyzes this in his video Thing you C*N'T say!. He talks about how he feels, based on cultural differences, how stupid the whole thing is.
  • No True Scotsman: When he tries to counter somebody who has actually researched about something (gender differences or rape prevention, for example), he usually claims those people are not real scientists, even when they use every element of the scientific method to back their claims, although he usually explains how their methods are scientific in name only while he is at it.
  • Omni Disciplinary Scientist: He is very knowledgeable and professional in hard sciences like physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
    • Subverted when it's about neurosciences, psychology, social sciences and statistics.
  • Playing the Victim Card: He accuses fundamentalist Christians doing this by them claiming to be oppressed; the same goes for feminists like Rebecca Watson and Anita Sarkeesian who claim to be attacked because of misogyny on the internet, to which he points out "If you say stupid shit online, people will call you for it" regardless of you are a man or a woman.
  • Poe's Law: He has invoked this law several times:
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He does this quite a lot to Creationists, radical (and not so radical) Feminists and anyone who gets into an argument with him.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: His avatar is a bunny. This represents one of his key talking points against creationism: where are the fossil bunnies in the Cambrian?
  • Shout-Out: He is shown to be a fan of:
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Do hot girls have all the advantages? Dedicated to Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Oho boy.
  • Straw Feminist: Enjoys portraying feminism as a club for rich, bored, primarily-white girls. Anita Sarkeesian is his biggest target. He labels them under the general label of "feminists", but separates them from himself and allies, whom he calls "egalitarian feminists".
  • Tempting Fate: Not him, but the central figure of the letter-writing campaign intended to get him fired at one point gloated about how she, unlike Thunderf00t, is untouchable by virtue of being married to the owner of the company she works at. Unfortunately for her, the internet disagrees.
  • Uranus Is Showing: Looking at URANUS!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The reaction of some of his fans to his actions of publishing and forwarding the private mails of the FTB backchannel (especially when it involved exploiting a security loophole to regain access to it). See I Did What I Had to Do.