Despite the proliferation of fringe ideologies on YouTube—and the availability of truly alternative information there—the video hosting service’s anti-establishment status may be overblown. A FAIR analysis of the 100 most-subscribed YouTube news channels worldwide found that the majority of the top news channels on the platform are not independent.
YouTube has a reputation for hosting news that challenges the status quo. In 2020, a Pew Research Center study highlighted YouTube’s potential to spotlight more independent news sources, indicating that 42% of YouTube news channels are not affiliated with a traditional news outlet.
The shadow side of that finding is that YouTube is a breeding ground for internet conspiracy theories and extremist views (FAIR.org, 3/20/18). In fact, it was the platform on which QAnon conspiracy theories first moved from the fringes of 4Chan to the mainstream (New York Times, 10/15/20). A 2021 Anti-Defamation League study found that despite its
— source fair.org | Olivia Riggio | May 27, 2022