FLAT EARTH FOLLOW UP - THE POWER OF GOOGLE TO CORRUPT YOUNG MINDS!
- Grady McMurtry
- April 04, 2020
The following was reported February 25, 2019 by Mark Jones at Komando.com
Researchers at Texas Tech University have been trying to trace the Flat Earth movement back to its roots and said YouTube seems to be the answer. They interviewed Flat Earthers who attended the movement’s annual conference the past 2 years - yes there are annual conferences - and most of them admitted YouTube videos changed their minds on the topic.
Many of them were already on YouTube watching conspiracy theory videos about 9/11 and the Sandy Hook school shooting. If you’ve ever spent time on the site, you know that it suggests other videos that you might like. Well, that’s the problem here.
How YouTube’s algorithm works
YouTube promoted videos claiming the Earth was flat, and conspiracy theorists ate it up. The following video really helped push them over the edge. It’s called, “200 Proofs Earth is Not a Spinning Ball.”
Some who were interviewed at the conferences said they started watching these videos just so they could debunk them but ended up being won over by the information. One of their favorite “proofs” is, “Why is the horizon always at eye level?”
Dr. Asheley Landrum, who led the research at Texas Tech University, presented the results at an annual science meeting recently in Washington, D.C. She said, “There’s a lot of helpful information on YouTube but also a lot of misinformation. Their algorithms make it easy to end up going down the rabbit hole, by presenting information to people who are going to be more susceptible to it.”
YouTube’s recommendations appear to be based on an algorithm that combines data from your browsing history with data from other viewers’ activities, which somewhat explains how 60% of surveyed parents told Pew Research that their kids have come across inappropriate content.
Stuff like this makes you wonder if sites like YouTube are doing more harm than good. This isn’t the site’s only glaring problem, either.
The following is a related article from The Guardian Newspaper in the United Kingdom
Study blames YouTube for rise in number of Flat Earthers
Conspiracy theories shown on video-sharing site persuade people to doubt Earth is round by Ian Sample Science editor Sun 17 Feb. 2019.
Researchers believe they have identified the prime driver for a startling rise in the number of people who think the Earth is flat: Goggle’s video-sharing site, YouTube.
Their suspicion was raised when they attended the world’s largest gatherings of Flat Earthers at the movement’s annual conferences in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2017, and then in Denver, Colorado, in 2018.
Interviews with 30 attendees revealed a pattern in the stories people told about how they came to be convinced that the Earth was not a large round rock spinning through space but a large flat disc doing much the same thing.
Of the 30, all but one said they had not considered the Earth to be flat two years ago but changed their minds after watching videos promoting conspiracy theories on YouTube.
The interviews revealed that most had been watching videos about other conspiracies, with alternative takes on 9/11, the Sandy Hook school shooting and whether NASA really went to the moon, when YouTube offered up Flat Earth videos for them to watch next.
Flat Earth video, 200 proofs Earth is not a spinning ball, appears to be effective because it offers arguments that appeal to so many mindsets, from biblical literalists and conspiracy theorists to those of a more scientific bent.
Landrum, who presented her results at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC, said she did not think YouTube was doing anything overtly wrong, but said that if the site wanted to help it could tweak its algorithm to show more accurate information.
“Believing the Earth is flat in and of itself is not necessarily harmful, but it comes packaged with a distrust in institutions and authority more generally,” she added. “We want people to be critical consumers of the information they are given, but there is a balance to be had.”
Landrum called on scientists and others to create their own YouTube videos to combat the proliferation of conspiracy videos. “We don’t want YouTube to be full of videos saying here are all these reasons the Earth is flat. We need other videos saying here’s why those reasons aren’t real and here’s a bunch of ways you can research it for yourself.”
“There’s always going to be a small percentage of people who will reject anything that scientists put out there but maybe there’s a group in the middle that won’t,” she added. “The only tool we have to battle misinformation is to try and overwhelm it with better information.”
Google did not respond to a request for comment.
All members of the modern social media giants - Google/YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook have been using their public platforms to propagandize their users with Far-Left ideas, agendas and anti-Christian activities. The Flat Earth Theory, which we spent much time countering recently, is merely one example of a much larger attempt to secularize the world.
The only real answer to this secular movement is to have a strong Christian apologetic, based on biblical TRUTH and REAL SCIENCE - Jesus Christ and Creation Science.