Sports fans who went on YouTube to watch the Beijing Winter Olympics were instead served propaganda videos. It has been discovered that people who typed “Beijing,” “Beijing 2022,” “Olympics,” or “Olympics 2022” were shown pro-China and anti-China propaganda videos in the top results. Five of the most visible propaganda videos, which frequently appear above actual Olympic highlights, have received nearly 900,000 views. Olympics highlights are riddled propaganda.
Two anti-China videos that appeared in search results were published by a group called The BL (The Beauty of Life), which Facebook previously linked to the Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual movement banned by the Chinese Communist Party in 1999 and has since protested against the regime. They competed for views with pro-China videos posted by Western YouTubers whose work has been previously promoted by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Similar search results could be found in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. An evidence has also been discovered that pro-China video views are being artificially boosted through the use of fake news websites. YouTube Highlights Are Riddled Propaganda. Olympics highlights riddled propaganda.
The decision by US-born skier Eileen Gu to compete for China in the Winter Olympics in 2019 is a recurring theme in pro-Beijing propaganda videos. A video titled “USA’s Boycott FAILURE … Eileen Gu Wins Gold” With 54,000 views by YouTuber Jason Lightfoot is the top result for the search term “Beijing.”
The United States and Canada were among the countries that boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics diplomatically. In Canada, that same video by Jason Lightfoot appeared in the 26th and 33rd positions for users searching for “Olympics 2022” and “Winter Olympics.” Lightfoot says in the video that Western media “can’t take what Eileen Gu represents… someone who has chosen China over the American dream.” Robert Potter, co-CEO of the Australian cyber-security firm Internet 2.0, discovered that both the Cyrus Janssen and Asian Boss videos had been embedded multiple times on a fake news site called Oakland News Now, allowing them to game YouTube’s algorithm. YouTube Olympics Highlights Riddled Propaganda.
According to Shadloo, a YouTube spokesperson, the platform does not allow anything that artificially increases the number of views or other metrics. Potter agrees that YouTube can detect if a single person or computer watches a video hundreds of times in order to make it appear more popular than it is. However, he claims that if the video is embedded on another site, YouTube will have a more difficult time detecting this behaviour. “It’s more of a manipulation of the viewer numbers than it is of the recommendation system.” olympics are riddled propaganda.
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