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(Phys Org2)   YouTube is the Augean stable of conspiracy theories, and we've got an infinite number of Jerkules adding to the pile   (phys.org) divider line
    More: Obvious, Conspiracy theory, YouTube comments, new study, conspiracy theories, social media researchers, COVID-19 news videos, qualitative content analysis, YouTube's comments  
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360 clicks; posted to STEM » on 06 Oct 2022 at 7:30 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



9 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-10-06 7:50:21 PM  
The great thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a chance to voice their opinion.

The worst thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a chance to voice their opinion.
 
2022-10-06 8:19:39 PM  
The comments covered topics such as Bill Gates' hidden agenda, his role in vaccine development and distribution, his body language, his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, 5G network harms, and ideas around Gates controlling people through human microchipping and the "mark of the beast."

Gates got divorced because of Epstein. He is one of the few people around him that actually saw some real consequences.


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2022-10-06 8:23:07 PM  
The thing is, Youtube runs on a Netflix-style algorithm: people who like X are likely to like Y, so here's a link in your feed. That's great when it's Mark Rober leading to Colin Furze and Hacksmith, your favorite comedian leading to some lesser known ones that you're likely to enjoy based on their humor style, or a "you like these 2 bands, these guys you've never heard of are basically a combination of the two, you'll probably enjoy their stuff".

The problem is that with politics, this means that anyone who dabbles in a conspiracy theory is likely to get sent to other conspiracies, and to ever more extreme ones - a harmless interest in Bigfoot could lead to the Q Cult for instance.

You can also land in that zone by accident. Let's say you just moved to Florida, and you're looking for common sense advice on how to prepare when a hurricane's coming - say a Cat 2 where you need to be prepared, but don't need to GTFO. So you watch a few videos on how to minimize water and wind damage, everything you should have in your house to deal with a week of no power and limited road access, and a few other basics of "here's how to handle that situation intelligently". Don't be surprised when those disaster prep videos lead to Prepping with a capital P, and all the whackjobbery that comes with it. Or maybe you're making a movie and want advice on how to do a good fake gunshot wound for a shootout scene... and it leads to videos accusing some real historical incidents of being faked. You get the idea.

Unfortunately, there's no easy fix for this - moderators can ban the most-flagged offenders, but there's no way they can review everything that lands on the site, or everything that -anyone- flags. You also have to be really, really careful with automatic takedowns... see the chess grandmaster who got his videos yanked for racism because he was talking about "aggressively attacking the black territory"... as in seeking board control vs. the player with the black chess pieces, but the algorithm couldn't tell those words were in that context and not something the KKK would post.
 
2022-10-06 9:03:55 PM  
I have YT set up without an account and I get recommended all sorts of disinformation videos.

Most notably about China's economy for some reason.

All I watch are science-based and health videos.
 
2022-10-06 9:15:34 PM  

Tyrosine: The great thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a chance to voice their opinion.

The worst thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a chance to voice their opinion.


The Internet is a place where anyone can share their thoughts, no matter how irrational, ill-informed or poorly thought out they may be. And they do.
 
2022-10-06 9:38:00 PM  

Gordon Bennett: The Internet is a place where anyone can share their thoughts, no matter how irrational, ill-informed or poorly thought out they may be. And they do.


images5.fanpop.comView Full Size

"Or maybe that's just what they want you to think."
 
2022-10-06 11:31:41 PM  
So about a year ago I started making weird little videos about my World of Warcraft toon's RP adventures and YouTube saw I was uploading content about video games and started recommending other video game channels and a whole shirt load of right wing conspiracy theory videos.

"Like World of Warcraft? Then you'll probably love these videos about how Antifa is using the UN to take over the world so we'll never get to use crypto currency as the new gold standard." is what the YouTube algorithm seems to think makes sense.
 
2022-10-07 7:20:01 AM  

Ghastly: So about a year ago I started making weird little videos about my World of Warcraft toon's RP adventures and YouTube saw I was uploading content about video games and started recommending other video game channels and a whole shirt load of right wing conspiracy theory videos.

"Like World of Warcraft? Then you'll probably love these videos about how Antifa is using the UN to take over the world so we'll never get to use crypto currency as the new gold standard." is what the YouTube algorithm seems to think makes sense.


The main problem is that there's so much shiat on YouTube the algorithm can't avoid these kind of associations.
 
2022-10-07 8:26:57 AM  

trerro: Unfortunately, there's no easy fix for this - moderators can ban the most-flagged offenders, but there's no way they can review everything that lands on the site, or everything that -anyone- flags. You also have to be really, really careful with automatic takedowns... see the chess grandmaster who got his videos yanked for racism because he was talking about "aggressively attacking the black territory"... as in seeking board control vs. the player with the black chess pieces, but the algorithm couldn't tell those words were in that context and not something the KKK would post.


You points are valid, but only apply to sites that are both well meaning, ethical, and still controlled by people who are both. That is not most of the internet.
The issues you bring up assume the site owners and moderators cared in the first place, and are not there to simply just allow whatever makes the most money. Then there are those who just put up a site specifically to push conspiracy agendas in the first place. Then you get places that started as a good idea but drift off mission and become something else entirely once a fringe group co-opts the leadership and moderation and starts dragging the group into new territory. Good example of that is what we are starting to see with NAFO now. This is the predictable end of many good ideas on the internet, but they have a malevolent stage that can last a long time before they collapse.
 
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