After the recent mass shooting in a Parkland, Florida, high school, videos spreading outlandish conspiracy theories began appearing on YouTube.
Videos posited that the student victims of the shooting were hired “crisis actors” who’d fabricated their experiences for money, attention or political reasons, as NBC News reported. The content-hosting platform even promoted the smear videos via its Up Next feature, which suggests related videos, and one video was featured in YouTube’s "trending" section and gained more than 200,000 views.
How the suggested content algorithm works is a YouTube secret, much like the algorithms that drive Google’s search (Google also owns YouTube) and Facebook’s news feed.
Misinformation researcher Jonathan Albright wrote in a Medium post that he was surprised that the network of monetized conspiracy videos appears to grow in the wake of major tragic events like school shootings.
The platform did not respond to request for comment from NBC News.