YouTube doesn’t really care that people are spreading misinformation on its platform
This isn’t surprising.
With the presidential election dominating the news cycle right now, it’s no surprise that companies like Facebook and Twitter are scrambling to figure out how to manage new information, misinformation, and downright lies. They slap labels on things, they remove some posts, and so on and so forth.
YouTube is also slapping labels on posts, but apparently, that doesn’t stop people from monetizing those videos – all but encouraging conspiracy theories to be posted, because people are eating that content up right now. Let’s not forget that over 25% of people in the US get their news exclusively from YouTube.
The company has also stated that it doesn’t promote videos with misinformation labels and they shouldn’t pop up in search results, but this is the internet and on-platform promotion is but a small piece of the puzzle.
As Vice points out, really all it takes is someone making a comment on Twitter, it being picked up by a prominent Twitter user, and then boom, there’s a YouTube video about it. From there, that video gets shared by people on Twitter, shared in closed Facebook groups, and boom, you have a viral video based on bullshit.
You can check the Vice article out for specifics, but here’s what you need to know. These videos gain huge traction and the creators can monetize the videos without issue. YouTube does tell Vice that if it picks up on this, it will demonetize the video, but not before the creators cash in big.
Add to that, popular videos can get the option to add merchandise for sale under the video. So not only are these content creators doubling up on making money, YouTube gets a cut of those merchandise sales.
A YouTube spokesperson tells Vice, “Like other companies, we are allowing discussions of the election results and the process of counting votes and are continuing to closely monitor new developments.”
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