, 12 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter

Is @YouTube to blame for the rise of the #FlatEarth movement? Trending reporter @MarcoLSilva has been investigating how the social media giant has allowed this conspiracy theory to spread online.
This is Dave. He believes the Earth is NOT round and that scientists have been lying to us. When @bbctrending met him, he showed us this replica of an ancient map depicting what our planet is supposed to look like. He doesn’t agree with it, but it was a gift - so, he kept it.
Dave says it was on YouTube that he came to believe the Earth is flat. And it all began with him watching a ton of other conspiracy videos on the platform.
As it turns out, Dave’s journey into flat Earth is quite common. @LandrumAR heard it again and again when she went to the 2017 Flat Earth conference in Raleigh, North Carolina:
It’s okay at this stage if you’re asking yourself (like I did): why in the world would YouTube recommend videos about conspiracy theories?
Back when he was working for YouTube, @gchaslot helped design the algorithm that decides which videos YT recommends to all of us. Guillaume says their main goal was to keep people watching for as long as possible.
Let’s be honest: the truth and well-founded science can at times be a bit boring (please don’t hate us @neiltyson). So, sensationalist, outrageous videos are more likely to keep you hooked - and that’s what YouTube was recommending, @gchaslot says.
But that’s not the whole story. YouTube wasn’t just the place where people were persuaded into believing the Earth is flat. For many Flat Earthers, it was also the place where they got to hang out with like-minded people.
It’s hard to say exactly how many Flat Earthers there are, but their community does seem to be growing. Here’s how popular the topic has become on Google in recent years.
YouTube’s been blamed for contributing to that growth, but the company says it’s taking action against misinformation and conspiracy theories on the platform:
If you’d like to find out more, have a listen to our podcast on this story:

PS: after we published our investigation, @YouTube spoke to @thisisFoxx about our story.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to BBC Trending
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!