"Alex Jones' Infowars isn’t a media empire — it’s a snake-oil empire," says Select/All

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones makes almost all of his money selling nostrums, says Seth Brown of Select/All. His audience buys so many bottle of Infowars Life Silver Bullet Colloidal Silver, Infowars Life Brain Force Plus, Infowars Life Super Male Vitality, and Infowars Life Liver Shield that he no longer depends on 3rd party advertising to make money.

A representative from PowerReviews, which manages Infowars’ review system, told me that between 3 percent and 8 percent of purchasers generally review their products. Assuming that 5 percent of Jones’s customers review each product they’ve purchased, the total sales would be more than 500,000 units sold over two years. At an average price of $30, this would represent $15,000,000 in sales over the same two-year period. If we assume more generously that reviews represent closer to 3 percent of the total number of purchasers, the number balloons to nearly $25,000,000. That’s a lot of money — especially when you consider that a devoted audience like Jones’s is likely filled with repeat customers who may not review each individual purchase.

It is a brilliant business model. If you can be convinced that an international cabal of globalists is hell-bent on creating a New World Order, perhaps you could be persuaded to buy Infowars Life Survival Shield X-2, a one-fluid-ounce bottle of iodine supplement for $39.95. If you can be convinced that President Barack Obama was a member of Al Qaeda, perhaps you will buy two ounces of Infowars Life Super Male Vitality drops for $59.95.

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You Are Not So Smart podcast 017: Alternative Medicine - Tim Farley

You are Not So Smart is hosted by David McRaney, a journalist and self-described psychology nerd. In each episode, David explores cognitive biases and delusions, and is often joined by a guest expert. David concludes each episode by eating a delicious cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener.

Where is the line between medicine and alternative medicine? Are Eastern medicine and Western medicine truly at odds, and if so, who is right and who is wrong? What harm is there in using complementary or integrative treatments in an effort to improve wellness?

In this episode we discuss alternative medicine with Tim Farley, creator and curator of What's The Harm, a website that tracks the harmful effects that result from seeking out alternative treatments and cures before or instead of seeking out science-based medicine. Tim also created the website Skeptical Software Tools, and he tweets at @krelnik.

This episode of You Are Not So Smart is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create you own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and ten percent off go to Squarespace.com and use the offer code PIPE.

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