Research blames YouTube for rising number of Flat Earthers

Josh Peachey's picture

The number of people who believe the earth is flat is rising, and apparently, it's YouTube's algorithm that is to blame.

If you were shocked to discover there are still people who don’t believe in climate change... well, it seems like it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

Researchers have started pointing the finger at Google’s video-sharing site saying that it’s driving the growing number of people who believe the earth is flat. 

Asheley Landrum, leading the research at Texas Tech University, told the Guardian that, having interviewed 30 attendees of the world’s largest gathering of ‘Flat Earthers’ in Denver, Colorado (of course it’s in America), 29 only started believing the Earth was flat in the last two years. 

'200 Proofs Earth is Not a Spinning Ball' has over 670,000 views on YouTube

The research indicated that interviewees, who admittedly divulged in other conspiracy theory videos on YouTube, started watching flat earth videos purely to debunk them. 

That didn’t happen… Landrum said some of the popular Flat Earth videos are convincing because they appeal to so many mindsets. 

“There’s a lot of helpful information on YouTube but also a lot of misinformation,” Landrum said. “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.”

Landrum added: “Believing the Earth is flat in of itself is not necessarily harmful, but it comes packaged with a distrust in institutions and authority more generally,” the Guardian reported.