It-who-must-not-be-named: Covid-19 misinformation, tactics to profit from it and to evade content moderation on YouTube

Dayane Fumiyo Tokojima Machado, Alexandre Fioravante de Siqueira, Natielly Rallo Shimizu, Leda Maria Caira Gitahy

December 22, 2021

Abstract: Brazilian YouTube channels spreading vaccine misinformation also misinform the public about the Covid-19 pandemic. Our analysis shows that content creators developed tactics to evade moderation and to profit both from the YouTube Partner Program and from different products, such as courses, books, supplements, and even isolated land — this last item in a pretext to flee from alleged conspiracies. Through the YouTube Partner Program, 516 brands paid for ads that appeared on videos containing Covid-19 misinformation, including the American CDC.

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Alex de Siqueira

Assistant Project Scientist, Data Science Outreach Lead