An American journalist indicates that when there was a resurgence of conspiracy theories published on YouTube, many people were convinced by the various video content, in particular the theory of a Flat Earth.
YouTube has already come up against criticism
Does YouTube make conspiracy theories more available to everyone? In fact the platform’s recommendation algorithms have already raised many questions and been subject to cutting criticism. You can take for example some of the accusations suggesting that algorithms direct users towards political content that is always more radical and extremely right wing. There are also those criticizing YouTube for not knowing how to differentiate between innocent cartoons and parodies deemed violent and sometimes unhealthy.
Is the Flat earth theory supported by YouTube?
This platform is also targeted as it is suspected of encouraging users to watch controversial content, and in particular a theory which has become very current in the last few years – the Flat Earth theory. Just to remind you, this theory believes that the Earth is not spherical but a flat plane and incorporates many elements of conspiracies against humanity. Many people have started to believe in this theory including the American rapper BoB.
There are a lot of videos that look into this subject and they are often videos videos parodying the movement and trying to make fun of it. On the other hand, in you delve a little deeper, you can find a lot of first-degree videos, filmed with low quality shots, and rather disturbing voices and music.
A resurgence of members in 2015
A journalist from Daily Beast went along to a recent Flat Earth conference in Denver. He asked members how they were converted and their response more often than not came back to YouTube. More precisely still it was YouTube in 2015, at a time a lot of influential movements launched their own channels on the platform Members were therefore able to watch an enormous amount of video content on their favourite subject.
We also have to remember that recommendation algorithms can be very powerful – but not for all subjects. Indeed, YouTube used it for more mainstream categories like education and beauty but not so much for scientific information. However YouTube said in the summer of 2018 that it is making efforts to improve it’s recommendation algorithms in this sense.