Researchers have stated how 14 Russia-based channels on YouTube, through misinformation, been able to generate billions of views and countless dollars through profit by advertising. Also, contrary to Youtube’s policy, they have failed to label themselves as state-sponsored.
The Youtube channels, such as news channels Russia-24 and NTV, released fabricated accounts such as how a United States politician was responsible for concealment of a human organ harvesting group, the Scandinavian nations’ economic downfall. In spite of bizarre content as such, people on Youtube are increasingly viewing these channels, moreover, numerous Europe and U.S. based companies have purchased advertisements which run along the videos on these channels.
The study by a Washington-centered firm, Omelas, which is responsible for keeping a check on radicalism on the internet, gives a thorough look into how the Russian government is succeeding in attracting an audience and making profit from the propaganda they put forward on Youtube. It is important to note that Youtube has about 2 billion monthly viewers around the world.
On Wednesday, YouTube stated how, as a response to the inquiries from Reuters it has included the disclaimer of being state-funding to another 13 Russian Youtube channels. Among these 13, 8 channels are those responsible for releasing false information.
From January of year 2017 to December of 2018, 26 channels, together, managed to obtain 9 billion views. 24 more Russian channels (unrelated to the misinformants), according to Omelas, were additionally viewed by 4 billion people.
State broadcasters from all over the world, use YouTube as a platform for their videos. However, having been accused of releasing false news from altered personas and fabricated news organizations so as to disturb the U.S. presidential elections of 2016, Russian Youtube channels have been met with increased amount of distrust. All these allegations have been rejected by Russia.