Scottish Daily Mail

YouTube makes money on sick hoax claim videos

- By Katherine Rushton Media and Technology Editor

GOOGLE is making money from vile claims that the London terror attack was a hoax, and that its victims were actors and mannequins.

Netflix, Guess, Trivago, Opodo, Asus and Sunlife insurance have adverts alongside videos published by conspiracy theorists on Google’s YouTube platform.

Within hours of the attack, YouTube was hosting hundreds of videos claiming the atrocity was faked.

One user sang Allahu Akbar to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down – a reference to Westminste­r Bridge where the attacker ploughed into pedestrian­s.

Google profits from the ads itself, but also hands a cut directly to those who post shocking videos.

Some of those posting about Wednesday’s attack claimed that those who were injured and killed were in fact actors using plastic limbs and that the emergency services were in on an elaborate plot to terrify ordinary citizens.

Ads from the online travel site Opodo appeared on posts by the user Russianvid­s, claiming that a woman trapped under a bus looked like a mannequin ‘they pulled out of Walmart’. One of the viewers said the ‘actors are terrible’. Others claim that the atrocity was orchestrat­ed by Jews trying to frame Islamists, Freemasons, or the ‘New World Order’ – a name used to describe a new, global totalitari­an government which is allegedly taking over the world. They even drew links to the Prime Minister and the Queen. Many of the wild theories also dwell on the date of the attack – 22 March, or 3/22 as it would be written in the US.

The fantasists claim that the number 322 has occult associatio­ns, and point out that is shorthand for Skull and Bones, an American secret society.

One user, ScreamCrow Face, published a series of rants suggesting that London Mayor Sadiq Khan staged the attack to support his demands for more police on the streets. The video featured ads by Opodo, Asus, Guess, Trivago and Sleep mattresses.

Yesterday, Google had disabled ads on many but not all of the hateful videos.

The firm places the ads using automated technology rather than human judgment.

Those posting videos on the site receive up to £6.15 for every 1,000 views, and many are watched millions of times.

Many of the users who have posted hoax claim videos about the attack have made money from Youtube, but not necessaril­y from ads on that video itself. The videos only host ads where clearly stated.

A YouTube spokesman said last night: ‘Videos threatenin­g violence are against YouTube’s policies and we remove them quickly when they are flagged to us.

‘When it comes to advertisin­g, we have strict guidelines that define where ads should appear.’

 ??  ?? Conspiracy theorists: The vile videos have adverts alongside them
Conspiracy theorists: The vile videos have adverts alongside them

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