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Conspiracy

Flat Earth belief linked to online video sharing

By T.K. Randall
February 18, 2019 · Comment icon 98 comments

Why do people believe that the Earth is flat ? Image Credit: Orlando Ferguson
Conspiracy theory videos on YouTube may be playing a significant role in convincing people that the Earth is flat.
In the age of orbiting satellites, interplanetary spacecraft and a fully manned space station, the fact that the Earth is round (an oblate spheroid) is as indisputable as the nose on your face.

Remarkably however, there are still those who remain adamant that the Earth is actually flat.

Now according to new research lead by Professor Asheley Landrum from Texas Tech University, it seems as though YouTube may be at least partially responsible for this.

The study, which queried attendees at flat Earth conferences, found that most people who subscribe to the idea that the Earth is flat had watched videos online and had in some cases been introduced to the concept through video recommendations while watching videos on other conspiracy theories.
"There's a lot of helpful information on YouTube but also a lot of misinformation," said Prof Landrum.

"Believing the Earth is flat is of itself not necessarily harmful, but it comes packaged with a distrust in institutions and authority more generally."

More of an effort needs to be made to ensure visitors are exposed to accurate information, she argues, as well as to put out videos designed to counteract misinformation.

For most people, it is difficult to imagine how anyone can seriously consider the possibility that the Earth is flat, especially given the abundance of evidence to the contrary.

What may have started out as little more than a tongue-in-cheek thought exercise, it seems, is fast becoming a genuine concern.



Source: BBC News | Comments (98)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #89 Posted by preacherman76 5 years ago
So what are we saying here? Let me quess. We must stop all people on youtube from saying things we don't believe, right? Must take their channels down, right?
Comment icon #90 Posted by Myles 5 years ago
It kind of does.   
Comment icon #91 Posted by bknight 5 years ago
There is so much wrong with this paragraph, but I won't dissect it since Noteverythingisaconspiracy has done a great job.  Kudos 
Comment icon #92 Posted by Border Collie 5 years ago
You have summarised the flaw in social media. The belief that people should have the right to present lies, distortions and factually incorrect observations as though they were truth. And if anyone dares to suggest that this may be a bad idea, people say things like you have done. Damn, that would be censorship,  interfering with the freedom of speech. People should have the right to spread lies and distortions.   And the truth becomes less and less clear behind the tidal wave of nonsense on the internet.
Comment icon #93 Posted by preacherman76 5 years ago
In that case every media outlet needs to be shut down like yesterday. They actually have blood on their hands because of outright lies, as opposed to people who believe the earth is flat. 
Comment icon #94 Posted by spartan max2 5 years ago
The implications of what you're saying is to create some group/organization to enforce the truth. In essence a group deciding what is true and what counts as a lie.   I think creating a monster like that would be worse then random lies and rumors people say online. 
Comment icon #95 Posted by preacherman76 5 years ago
Exactly. I wish people could understand the gravity of what they are saying when they endorse online censorship. I cringed when I read that post.  I mean what sounds worse? People harmlessly believing in things like the flat earth theory, or multi billion dollar corporations deciding what truth is for us all. Under the influence of msm, and the government no less. People who have outright lied to us in hopes of getting us to support illegal, and unconstitutional wars.  If people no longer have the ability to question certain narratives, even if they are completely wrong, many untruths will ... [More]
Comment icon #96 Posted by Dark_Grey 5 years ago
It's a design flaw. At least it was initially. The platforms thrived because they welcomed ALL users, not just the ones they disagreed with personally. As censorship increases, the user base decreases. See: Facebook. The social media giants are shooting themselves in the foot by catering to the whims of Alphabet agencies and shadowy donors. Conflicting information promotes discussion and that leads to new ideas. "Freedom of speech" means all speech - including that which you don't agree with. It's so important precisely because it exposes people to bad information. Without real free speech, th... [More]
Comment icon #97 Posted by Rlyeh 5 years ago
Does that include Alex Jones?
Comment icon #98 Posted by preacherman76 5 years ago
It doesn't include anyone. Unless laws are being broken, I don't want to see anyone silenced. All I'm saying is, if censorship is necessary, according to some, then why should the people who have done actual harm be exempt? Heck the Iraq war made protesting Sandy Hook parents look like a good time. How many thousands of our own servicemen died? How many millions of innocent Iraqi's died? And that's just Iraq. The media supported every horror we committed in the ME. They are selling slaves in the streets of what was once the most prosperous nation with the highest standard of living in Libya.... [More]


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