Where online is debunking most effective?

Rory

Senior Member.
A question I've been considering for a while: given that conspiracy theories these days seem to be born and play out on youtube, is youtube the place where they should be tackled? That is, is making videos perhaps the most effective way to combat conspiracy theories and other flaws in logic?

I have no real opinion on this myself, since I don't feel that I have all the necessary information to form one. But I'd be super-interested to know what other members feel.
 

Sharon Hill

New Member
This is a good topic for discussion.

I noticed much of the paranormal theorizing goes on via podcast, radio shows and internet forums as well as YouTube. This is all ephemeral stuff that gets buried and forgotten once the next episode or thread posts. Not much is being written in print. I know the "internet content lives forever" but that's not true. Stuff disappears or becomes impossible to find if not archived carefully. Video is popular (though I HATE it and often ignore it) and makes an immediate and widespread impression but it is a terrible medium for records retention. I guess one must consider what the main goal is - fast or long-term effects. Maybe a combination of both is best.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I also think a combination is good. and it depends on what is the topic. Some things, imo, are more easily demonstrated in film. But I personally prefer text for most things, esp. if you are linking evidence sources.


One thing with debunking "videos" I don't think most debunkers take into account, is attention span. I realize that CTers have no problem watching CT vids with annoying intros, or music laden videos or even videos that are 2 hours long... but I DON'T watch them as I'm not that interested. So I think if debunkers actually want to reach bunk-believers, any videos need to be SHORT and lose all the annoying bells and whistles.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Combination. Videos are accessible to many people. Shareable and findable posts are great. Timely Facebook posts work well.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
There seems to be a fair large amount of ego massaging that drives people to gather and consume online positive reactions.

Of course this applies not only to online conspiracy thinkers/groups, but also with the average "Joe/Jane" personalized FB pages of posts about themselves. In either case, a positive reaction is usually expected, and critical offerings are generally not wanted.
This can make constructive or critical discussion on-line.... a rare beast.

It appears to me, that YouTube videos promoting conspiracies, are intended for 'like minded' people to share 'like minded' thoughts. They generally don't want to hear how their ideas are somehow flawed or lack evidence -- they already get that vibe from their family and co-workers.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don’t mean debunking in the comments, I mean making videos

One issue is simply that conspiracists feel that the weight of evidence is on their side because there are SO MANY videos supporting their POV. And so few debunking.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
It appears to me, that YouTube videos promoting conspiracies, are intended for 'like minded' people to share 'like minded' thoughts. They generally don't want to hear how their ideas are somehow flawed or lack evidence -- they already get that vibe from their family and co-workers.
Making videos. Exactly.

I was thinking about doing some myself, but it just seems quite time consuming. I wonder, though, how a metabunk youtube channel might fair?
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Making videos. Exactly.

I was thinking about doing some myself, but it just seems quite time consuming. I wonder, though, how a metabunk youtube channel might fair?
I've made a couple of YouTube videos debunking Apollo hoax claims. It is really time consuming, in my experience.

I also really hate video as an information format. It forces you to watch in a linear fashion at a fixed (usually painfully slow) pace, rather than being able to skim and find the information you want fast, like you can with text. Plus I am often either in a public place and lacking earphones, or on a computer without sound switched on, so video without subtitles is useless.

Most people I speak to say the same thing, and yet we must be in the minority because video seems increasingly to be the favoured format for disseminating information over the internet.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I also really hate video as an information format. It forces you to watch in a linear fashion at a fixed (usually painfully slow) pace, rather than being able to skim and find the information you want fast.
I absolutely agree with that. I guess the question is, if that's where the debates are happening, should debunkers be there? I.e., speaking in the language of the believers - video - even though it's not one we're necessarily drawn to?
Mick has a youtube channel.
I must check that out. :)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I hardly use my channel. I did start a “Metabunk Minute” series, which had just one episode. Videos take time to do well, but I think I should probably do more - basically condensed versions of good threads - like the Hulsey thing.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I absolutely agree with that. I guess the question is, if that's where the debates are happening, should debunkers be there? I.e., speaking in the language of the believers - video - even though it's not one we're necessarily drawn to?
I also wonder if the "believers" who constantly post YouTube videos as proof actually sit through the whole thing. Some of them are well over an hour in length. I suspect many of the people who post them simply go by the title and never actually watch them.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
I also wonder if the "believers" who constantly post YouTube videos as proof actually sit through the whole thing. Some of them are well over an hour in length. I suspect many of the people who post them simply go by the title and never actually watch them.
I've no doubt that some do. I've had a CT minded friend try several times to get me watch a live feed of one of Mr Ickes 9 hour long rants. It bored me pissy and I left after half hour, but he was determined to sit and watch the lot, hanging on every word, and apparently he did.
 
I've no doubt that some do. I've had a CT minded friend try several times to get me watch a live feed of one of Mr Ickes 9 hour long rants. It bored me pissy and I left after half hour, but he was determined to sit and watch the lot, hanging on every word, and apparently he did.
We are doing more of less better, according to W1A.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I also wonder if the "believers" who constantly post YouTube videos as proof actually sit through the whole thing. Some of them are well over an hour in length.
I sure many of them do. Those things are addictive. If they've the time - and they most likely have - then why not? What better way to fill the hour of one's life? ;)
 
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