YouTube’s Conspiracy Theory Crackdown Has One Big Winner: Fox News” data-sharingtweetname=”HuffPost” data-sharingtweettext=”YouTube+vowed+to+promote+more+credible+sources+amid+allegations+that+it+radicalized+users+by+driving+them+toward+fringe+content.+Now+it%27s+driving+them+to+Fox+News.” data-sharingurl=”https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fox-news-youtube-conspiracy-theories_n_5d447efae4b0ca604e31bf35″ data-yaft-module=”huffpost-sticky-share” data-rapid-parsed=”sec”>
Previously, users who watched videos about hoaxes such as QAnon or Pizzagate could easily be pulled into an echo chamber of disinformation by YouTube’s autoplay function, which queued up one conspiracy theory video after another. But now, those who seek out such content will often find a lineup of Fox News videos in lieu of more conspiracies.
YouTube’s vast community of disinformation influencers is not pleased.
“I’m sick of it!” the host of a massive QAnon channel huffed in a July video. “Six months ago, when you’d look at [the recommended videos on my content], there’d be all my videos. You’d watch one of my videos, then you could watch three or four of my videos,” he went on. “But YouTube, in their discriminatory practices, has decided to use their algorithm to … give all my hard work to this major corporation, Fox News,” by recommending its videos instead.
What he described is far from an isolated occurrence. Conspiracy channels all over the platform — some with hundreds of thousands of subscribers — are funneling increased traffic to Fox News, HuffPost has found.