The BBC reports that conspiracy videos about Covid-19 account for "more than a quarter of the most-watched videos" about the pandemic.
The study, published online by BMJ Global Health, looked at the most widely viewed coronavirus-related videos in English, as of 21 March. After excluding duplicate videos, videos longer than an hour and videos that did not include relevant audio or visual material, they were left with 69 to analyse. The videos were scored on whether they presented exclusively factual information about viral spread, coronavirus symptoms, prevention and potential treatments. Videos from government agencies scored significantly better than other sources, but were less widely viewed.
Of the 19 videos found to include misinformation:
about a third came from entertainment news sources
national news outlets accounted for about a quarter
internet news sources also account for about a quarter
13% had been uploaded by independent video-makers
Social media companies made a half-hearted show of clamping down on Covid-19 conspiracy material, but Rona nuts are a fully-fledged audience blasting onto the platforms with obsessive, unremitting levels of interest and engagement. YouTube's CEO has boasted about providing a home for far-right material and admitted a "corporate obsession with maximizing usage statistics". What do you think she's gonna do about the most-watched content on YouTube?