There are still a lot of people out there who believe that the Earth is flat for some reason. You will find no shortage of content online that supports this absurd theory. It seems that Flat Earthers have had a bit of a resurgence which new research blames squarely on the widespread availability of hoaxes and fake news on YouTube.


Assistant professor of science communication at Texas Tech University Asheley Landrum points out that all but one of the 30 Flat Earthers interviewed as part of this research said that they didn’t think the Earth was flat until they watched videos that promoted this theory on YouTube.

The one person who didn’t begin to subscribe to this theory because of YouTube had actually had their opinions about the shape of the Earth changed by family members who had actually been influenced by such YouTube videos themselves.

She pointed out during her talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC that most of the Flat Earthers were recommended these videos after they watched videos about other conspiracies such as moon landing and 9/11 theories.

As anyone who has browsed YouTube for extended periods of time can attest, the recommendation algorithm doesn’t make it all that difficult to slip down the rabbit hole. “Their algorithms make it easy to end up going down the rabbit hole, by presenting information to people who are going to be more susceptible to it,” she said.

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