Over the years, videos have been a popular way to disseminate information worldwide. For people looking for ways to spread ideas and messages, YouTube is their go-to platform. With millions of users every day, it continues to be the top video hosting platform up to this day. Having such a reputation, they recently announced an update regarding the rules on hate speech. By focusing on the reduction of content about harmful conspiracy theories like QAnon, YouTube hopes to curb the dispersion of hate and misinformation.
What is QAnon and Why does it get so many YouTube Views?
QAnon is known as a baseless conspiracy theory group that says US President Donald Trump is waging war against pedophile Satan worshippers in the government and media. They believe that this war has a good and bad side, with Trump being on the good side. The group is known to be linked to many violent acts like threatening and kidnapping politicians.
It started last October 2017 on the message board 4chan. A user known as “Q” claimed that they are a government insider, a high-ranked one. They then proceed to post cryptic messages about the said conspiracy theory. Currently, the true identity of Q is still not known. Some may think that all of these are nonsense, but in fact, the theory has garnered many supporters. The followers have been deemed as the forerunners of misinformation. Platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter continue to generate a huge amount of traffic because of it. This results in many rumors about the high view counts and questions about buying YouTube views.
QAnon spread like wildfire on online platforms. Conspiracy theories like this are the reason why media platforms like influencers who buy real YouTube views, Facebook, and Twitter updated their policies. With the dissemination of false information that could lead to real-world violent acts, platforms began to take a step further to prevent this from happening.
Always Keep It Real. Prevent Misinformation.
Misinformation spreads like a virus. Anyone who has access to the internet can spread fake news, facts, and rumors with just a single click. The dangers of feeding fake information are apparent in public, shrouded by confusion and panic. The battle against misinformation is needed now more than ever. How can you contribute? With the plethora of news and information spread across the internet, how can you filter through those and find credible ones?
1. Think Before You Click.
Before sharing it, read the whole article first, and verify if the title or headline reflects the contents. Take a few extra seconds to check the source. You need to get contents from reliable sources like verified accounts only. Consider getting information from reliable organizations that generally handle the topic. For example, for health-related concerns, go to the Department of Health page. This will ensure the authenticity of the information you will spread. Inspect the date because some articles may claim that an event happened recently, when in fact, it happened a long time ago.
2. Compare Reports
Different news outlets have their own reports when an event takes place. You should read reports from these outlets to check if the facts presented are consistent. This may be done by searching the topic on Google or other search engines. It will help in corroborating the accuracy of the story presented, therefore, avoiding fabricated news. Commonly, if a certain article only has one source, it is a red flag that entails misinformation. Further, you shouldn’t rely on social media platforms as primary sources of information. Visit the website of the government or trusted news agencies, also.
3. Check the Videos and Photos
Usually, articles contain photos or videos. Take a moment to scrutinize them. You may use tools like Google’s reverse image search to look for other places where the photos appear. You will see whether a certain image has been edited to mask the real content. With videos, you should always look if there are full versions of the videos. More often than not, full versions are cut into short clips which tell a whole different story from what really happened.
4. Know the Purpose
It is important to know the objective of the content. Is it meant to call action or inform? Usually, the purpose is where you can look for clues about bias. Biased contents do not tell the whole story. It focuses on a certain point of view instead of an objective one. Make it a habit to differentiate fact from opinion. Certain articles may be intended as editorials. You should know that this type of writing presents the author’s own ideas. It does not necessarily reflect your own or others.
Call out the persons who spread misinformation. Ask them politely to remove it. If they still keep doing it, report them to proper authorities. Nowadays, local government units have policies regarding the spreaders of fake information. Rest assured that those persons would be sanctioned.
Starve the Trolls
In this digital age, people are spending most of their time scrolling through social media platforms. When something big happens, it seems like the natural reflex of any person would be to run to these platforms to check out what is happening. Unfortunately, what we find isn’t always accurate. With the free editing tools available on the internet, it has become very easy to fabricate information to make it look factual. This may seem harmless to some, but with current events like the pandemic and natural calamities, accurate information is vital.
When you are sharing news on social media, put yourself in a reporter’s shoes. Provide only credible information. Yes, it is time-consuming to verify all the reports, but you wouldn’t want your friends or followers to doubt you, right? By taking further steps to corroborate facts, you may be promoting life-saving information.
Like YouTube’s move to prevent harmful content, we should strive to contribute to deterring the dissemination of false information. It is never too late to seek reliable and verifiable information. Starve an internet troll today! Keep it real, and use these tips to help in winning the war against misinformation.