Conspiracy theorists abound in climate change conversation on youtube, study finds

by Luke McGrath, Bloomberg

YouTube is great for many things: makeup tutorials, entertaining animal clips and oddly satisfying videos of people smashing their faces into loaves of bread. It’s not necessarily great for nuanced scientific explanations.

Many of the most popular videos on the service, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, denounce or ignore mainstream climate science, while others propagate conspiracy theories, according to new research by Frontiers in Communication.

The study analyzed the top 20 videos for eight specific search terms related to climate change. Basic searches for “climate,” “climate change” and “global warming” generally yielded videos that lined up with scientific consensus. Of the top 20 videos for “climate,” for example, 18 agreed with findings shared by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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