December 12, 2017

Another headache for Google as YouTube now promotes Las Vegas conspiracy theories

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BY GIANLUCA MEZZOFIORE From Mashable

In the wake of the shooting, Google’s algorithm was under fire for purportedly promoting conspiracy theories that flourished on 4chan’s controversial /pol/ channel.

But now Google has another headache from what is arguably the biggest thorn in its side as far as conspiracy theories are concerned: YouTube.

A Guardian report found out that YouTube is actively promoting “Las Vegas shooting= hoax” videos, causing an outcry among survivors and relatives of the victims.

Conspiracy theories in these videos, which feature prominent personalities such as or Paul Joseph Watson, range from the usual, 9/11-truther-style “it was an inside job” to “false flag” allegations.

They all invite the audience to be suspicious of the media and law enforcement, both plotting together to deceive American citizens about what really happened in Las Vegas.

Mashable conducted a main search on YouTube with the string “Las Vegas shooting” and got the results it expected — videos from reputable news organisations such as The Guardian, BBC, CBS, CNN and so on.

But things radically change if you look up “Las Vegas shooting video,” perhaps because you want to see raw footage from the scene or interviews with the survivors.

It’s a basic search, but that’s what the algorithm automatically comes up with under “Top News”:

A user named “Real Angel of the Apocalypse” claims the real shooter was on the 10th floor and , the suspected gunman, was assassinated before the incident. The video isn’t extremely popular, just under 20,000 views, but is one example of the constellations of hoaxes and truthers surrounding Las Vegas shooting.

Scrolling down the page, a much more popular video pops up entitled “Las Vegas shooting narrative debunked in 3 videos”.

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