One of the big pluses of living in the Internet age is having ready access to a wealth of information on just about any subject, especially the breaking news of the day.
However, this plus can also be a minus, as we’re constantly bombarded by an endless flow of information that can be extremely overwhelming. Unfortunately, many opportunists take advantage of the average user and pump out false stories in order to make a buck. In other words, you have to filter your information carefully.
Most of us agree that’s something that should be left up to the individual. However, more and more content creators and publishers are taking that matter into their own hands, and what seems to be happening is that conservative sources are being suppressed.
YouTube, for example, recently changed its algorithms so that only the news sources it believes are “authoritative” show up in search results. The problem, of course, is that they haven’t revealed how they come to the conclusion a source is authoritative to begin with.
The company’s new policy has led to the promotion of some stories about the Las Vegas killer, while burying others.
According to TheBlaze,
In the days following the Las Vegas shooting, many videos appeared presenting “conspiracy theories” or misinformation. Some examples of suppressed videos are those which promote the idea that the shooting was staged by the government to promote gun control, that there was a second shooter, or that claim the shooter represented anti-fascist or anti-Trump or far-right groups or interests.
Now, when you search “Las Vegas shooting” on YouTube, only mainstream media sources show up on the first pages. The so-called “conspiracy” videos are still on YouTube, but they can be much more difficult to find.
YouTube policy allows for the company to take down accounts that receive more than three strikes against the community standards policy. According to USA Today, the YouTube channel for the End Times Report took down all videos related to the Las Vegas shooting because they promoted second-shooter theories.
YouTube is a force to be reckoned with in pop culture, with 1 billion hours of video footage viewed each and every day. And, since they play such a big role in disseminating information, they ought to be open about the changes they make to their search algorithm and what kind of criteria is used to determine whether a source is authoritative or not.
Of course, it’s important to be cautious about the kind of content being published and promoted — after all, you don’t want to spread false, inflammatory information. However, when you start suppressing information, you’re playing with fire and opening up doors that are very hard to shut.