How YouTube Serves As The Content Engine Of The Internet’s Dark Side
Everyone knows that Twitter and Facebook spread bad information and hate speech. But YouTube, which pays for conspiracy theories seen by millions, may be even worse.
David Seaman is the Pizzagate King of the Internet. On
Twitter, Seaman posts dozens of messages a day to his 66,000
followers, often about the secret cabal — including
Rothschilds, Satanists, and the other nabobs of the New World
Order — behind the nation’s best-known, super-duper-secret
child sex ring under a DC pizza parlor. But it’s on YouTube
where he really goes to work. Since Nov. 4, four days before
the election, Seaman has uploaded 136 videos, more than one a
day. Of those, at least 42 are about Pizzagate. The videos,
which tend to run about eight to fifteen minutes, typically
consist of Seaman, a young, brown-haired man with glasses and
a short beard, speaking directly into a camera in front of a
white wall. He doesn’t equivocate: Recent videos are titled
“Pizzagate Will Dominate 2017, Because It Is Real” and
“#PizzaGate New Info 12/6/16: Link To Pagan God of
Pedophilia/Rape.” Seaman has more than 150,000 subscribers.
His videos, usually preceded by preroll ads for major brands
like Quaker Oats and Uber, have been watched almost 18 million
times, which is roughly the number of people who tuned in to
last year’s season finale of NCIS, the most popular show on
Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda
February 24, 2017 Author Jonathan Stray
In honor of MisinfoCon this weekend, it’s time for a brain dump on propaganda — that is, getting large numbers of people to believe something for political gain. Many of my journalist and technologist colleagues have started to think about propaganda in the wake of the US election, and related issues like “fake news” and organized trolling. My goal here is to connect this new wave of enthusiasm to history and research.
This post is about persuasion. I’m not going to spend much time on the ethics of these techniques, and even less on the question of who is actually right on any particular point. That’s for another conversation. Instead, I want to talk about what works. All of these methods are just tools, and some are more just than others.
Think of this as Defense Against the Dark Arts.