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If you argue with conspiracy theorists on the Internet for even a short period of time, you’ll notice one thing very quickly: they love YouTube. It’s extremely rare to carry on any sort of “debate” with a conspiracy theorist of any stripe—9/11 Truther, moon hoaxer, global warming denier, what-have-you—and not see the CT post at least one, and usually more, links to videos on YouTube supposedly validating their position. In fact, in terms of sheer volume of the “evidence” posted by conspiracy theorists, YouTube appears to be their primary source of information. Furthermore, most of them simply can’t understand why not everybody is immediately persuaded by something on YouTube, and if you push back against their arguments, you’ll invariably get still more YouTube links. In the paranoid world of conspiracy theories, YouTube is evidently the ultimate oracle of all knowledge. This blog will attempt to examine why conspiracy theorists love YouTube so much, and how their passion for this website relates to a strong and disturbing undercurrent in the conspiracist worldview: anti-intellectualism.
Don’t get me wrong, YouTube is a great communication tool. With the ubiquity of video cameras these days, it’s a fine way to connect with people, get the word out about various things, and also have fun. (ConspiracyScience has a YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com... and I have a personal YouTube channel myself, here: www.youtube.com...) But while most people use YouTube for light entertainment, more often than not involving cats doing funny things (such as this: www.youtube.com...), conspiracy theorists are watching stuff like this (www.youtube.com...—tgw) and this (www.youtube.com...), full of “free fall collapses,” quotes taken out of context, and other so-called “evidence” that they use to “prove” that various events were in fact massive conspiracies. For conspiracy theorists, YouTube isn’t fun at all. It’s deadly serious business. Also, for them, bizarrely, it is the first line of information. Despite the vast information resources that are out there, not just on the Internet, conspiracists usually turn to YouTube before they go anywhere else—almost as if other sources don’t exist. In fact, conspiracy theorists usually credit YouTube videos as more credible than other forms of evidence.
Take, to wit, this recent conversation on the ConspiracyScience forum (in this topic: conspiracyscience.com...) in which this exchange occurs between “Casey,” a conspiracy theorist and 9/11 Truther, and various debunkers including myself:
Originally posted by gandhi
I go the easy way. If it needs verification, do not waste time on it.
ATS is basically a fast, reliable, and quickly updated news source. There is this and that i don't really pay attention to, but overall i can say people that love news will love ATS. (and have tolerance for some far out people)
Originally posted by UberL33t
Precisely, however YT, has in the past been a viable tool on ATS, it has been used to debunk as well as confirm plenty of topics on ATS.
Actually, that's EXACTLY what makes it "more true". There's a huge difference between one nut-job writing his own essay without citing any sources, and just reading it verbatim in front of a video camera and someone who publishes their findings in a 500+ page book, including references to their source material so that it's independently verifiable by anyone who might want to challenge him.
Originally posted by Th0r
Just because it's written in a book or linked to an article deep in the internet with 1000 certified scientists or engineers cited as credible contributes does not make it any more true.