Russian Disinformation on YouTube Draws Ads, Lacks Warning Labels: Researchers - Reuters
The channels, including news outlets NTV and Russia-24, carried false reports ranging from a U.S. politician covering up a human organ harvesting ring to the economic collapse of Scandinavian countries. Despite such content, viewers have flocked to the channels and U.S. and European companies have bought ads that run alongside them.
The previously unpublished research by Omelas, a Washington-based firm that tracks online extremism for defense contractors, provides the most comprehensive view yet of the Russian government’s success in attracting viewers and generating revenue from propaganda on YouTube, which has 2 billion monthly viewers worldwide.
YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, introduced a policy in February of 2018 to identify channels predominantly carrying news items and are wholly or partly funded by national governments, in order to help users make informed viewing decisions.