How YouTube Radicalized Brazil
If you read my blog, you already know about Google's audaciously unethical role in radicalizing and misinforming people. I didn't know, though, how big of a deal it was in Brazil.
One of those channels belonged to Mr. Bolsonaro, who had long used the platform to post hoaxes and conspiracies. Though a YouTube early adopter, his online following had done little to expand his political base, which barely existed on a national level.
Then Brazil’s political system collapsed just as YouTube’s popularity there soared. Mr. Bolsonaro’s views had not changed. But YouTube’s far-right, where he was a major figure, saw its audience explode, helping to prime large numbers of Brazilians for his message at a time when the country was ripe for a political shift.
YouTube challenged the researchers’ methodology and said its internal data contradicted their findings. But the company declined the Times’ requests for that data, as well as requests for certain statistics that would reveal whether or not the researchers’ findings were accurate.
YouTube's effect extends to medical issues:
Bernardo Küster, a YouTube star whose homemade rants had won him 750,000 subscribers and an endorsement from Mr. Bolsonaro, accused her of involvement in the supposed Zika plots.
The very people working to help families affected by Zika, their videos implied, were behind the disease. Backed by shadowy foreigners, their goal was to abolish Brazil’s abortion ban — or even make abortions mandatory.
Someone take a fucking hammer to that company.