A research suggests that YouTube has been responsible for making people believe that the Earth is flat. The study asked people about this belief at conferences of flat earth and found that their belief that Earth was flat is formed on the basis of the videos that they saw on YouTube. The study suggests that people were influenced by the videos that claimed to gather evidence that proved that Earth is flat and not spherical. The researchers of the study feel that YouTube should ensure that the visitors on their site get accurate information when they watch such videos. Professor Asheley Landrum from Texas Tech University who conducted the study said that YouTube has a lot of useful information but also a lot of misguiding information.
Professor Landrum added that the statistics of the site that is used for guiding people to the topics they are interested in has made it easier to end them up with misguiding information. If you believe that Earth is flat then it is not harmful information but then that information comes with distrust in authority and institution, she added.
The study interviewed 30 people who attended two different conferences. During their interviews, it was revealed that YouTube had suggested the videos of flat earth after the people watched other videos of conspiracy theories at home. Some people said that they watched the videos with the intention to criticize them but when they came across the arguments put forth in the videos they kind of believed them. The result of the study was presented this weekend at the Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting.
Prof Landrum said that there is a need for science advocates and scientists to answer and set straight the claims of such videos and conspiracy theorists by producing their own videos on YouTube. She added that the only way to fight such misinformation is to come up with better information.