For these reasons the video-sharing site YouTube has become almost an epitome of participatory culture Burgess and Green, However, this fact is not without problems. For instance, when an unknown disease is breaking out, rather little scientifically verified information is available at first and YouTube together with various other social media sites becomes a prime channel for spreading misinformation and harmful rumors Basch et al.
Another reason for the spread of problematic and potentially harmful content is that video formats have become extremely popular and rapid technological advances and mobile technologies allow more and more people not just to watch videos, but also to produce and upload them themselves. From the point of view of the scientific community there is an obvious downside. Actors that deny climate change or promulgate conspiracy theories about climate engineering can easily use online videos to spread their views quickly and globally.
Routledge Communication Series (Page 3) - lumvivormatumb.ml
It has already been mentioned that YouTube is more than just a social media site, it has various qualities and meanings for different people and it is used for various purposes by a very diverse set of users. A boundary object is any object that is part of multiple social worlds and that facilitates communication between them; it has different identities in the various social worlds that it inhabits Star and Griesemer, Therefore, boundary objects must be simultaneously concrete and abstract, fluid, and well-defined, or in the words of Star and Griesemer:.
In their seminal paper on boundary objects Star and Griesemer explicitly mention repositories as one type of boundary objects. I will revisit the boundary object concept after explicating the search terms used and the methodological approach of this study and presenting the main results of this study. Social scientists, social media and science communication researchers have just begun to study YouTube and other online video-sharing websites empirically, and there is still a gap in the research literature on what kind of contents users find there, how they find it there, who uploads content with what kinds of intentions and how different groups of users perceive and make sense of the content they find on online video-sharing websites, such as YouTube.
The aim of this research is to find out more about what kind of information concerning climate change and climate engineering users find on YouTube. Here it is of special interest if the information found on YouTube corresponds with mainstream scientific positions or if it challenges scientific views. Ten search terms were used to find videos on YouTube. These were:. Climate Change. Climate Engineering. Climate Manipulation. Climate Modification.
Climate Science. Global Warming. Climate Hacking. The ninth and tenth search terms are terms that are often used by opponents of mainstream science, particularly in online environments 8.
They have been included in the sample as control terms to find out whether these searches lead to different results than the previous terms and whether these results then support or challenge mainstream scientific views. The search terms relating to climate and climate modification topics were selected because climate topics are currently of particular social relevance and have been broadly discussed in public, politics, and the media e.
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Painter et al. Various studies found that in the expert community of scientists that are studying climate change professionally there is a scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming and global climate change 9. For instance, a survey of over 12, peer-reviewed climate science papers by Cook et al. From a scientific point of view, it is a fact that climate change is happening and that it is caused by human beings e.
A technical approach that is discussed in scientific and engineering expert communities is to apply climate engineering or geoengineering to deal with or mitigate the consequences of anthropogenic climate change with technical means. The Royal Society , p. Both the terms climate engineering and geoengineering stem from scientists and scientific discussions about how to deal with or mitigate the consequences of anthropogenic climate change with technical means.
Compared to other scientific fields it is a rather young epistemic community that considers using technoscientific means, among others, for dealing with the consequences of climate change e. However, climate and geoengineering are seen as very risky technologies that are also controversially discussed within the scientific community Stilgoe, In their view it is a made up reason for applying secret harmful atmospheric spraying programs. Shearer et al. They surveyed two groups of experts: atmospheric chemists with expertise in condensation trails and geochemists working on atmospheric deposition of dust and pollution to evaluate the claims of people who believe in a secret large-scale atmospheric program.
The results of the survey show that 76 of the 77 scientists Tingley and Wagner , p. Belief in the chemtrails conspiracy is. Studying audio-visual content on YouTube empirically is still challenging. There are many elements that could be studied, for instance the genre of videos, the user statistics, the algorithmic recommender system of YouTube, or the comments from other users, among others Kavoori, In health communication research it has become a convention to take, for instance, videos that have received the highest number of views and that appear after entering a particular search term or search string.
Then these videos are analyzed for their medical accuracy e. This approach, however, is not going to provide answers to the question what people will find, if they use YouTube as a search engine. It will only answer the question what the quality and medical accuracy of videos are that have been viewed most often, no matter how users found them. Another problem, that often builds up on the question of content is the questions of searching many users use YouTube also as a search engine : the over-reliance on particular search engines e.
This problem is exacerbated by the personalization and individualization of searches, which results in more of the same kind of content being shown to users e. This means that two users who are using the same search term on the same platform might get different search results. An innovative methodological approach presented in this contribution is to use the online anonymity network Tor 10 in order to alleviate potential biases that are results of personalized internet searches. The free software and open network Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network of thousands of relays.
Location, destination and IP address are encrypted multiple times in this process through randomly selected Tor relays and only the final relay decrypts the innermost layer of encryption and sends the original data to its destination without revealing the source IP address e. In the research presented the Tor software has been installed and used to search for 10 keywords on YouTube relating to climate science, climate change, and climate manipulation with cookies being deleted and cache being cleared. Each search has been repeated at least three times using default search settings in English without restrictions, each time with a new identity provided by the Tor anonymity network.
This procedure has been applied in order to obtain a randomized sample and to circumvent the filter bubble problem. All search results have been recorded. This research strategy was adopted in order to have an approximation on what an average Tor internet user finds if she or he searches for a particular term on YouTube. The first 20 results encompass all the results that a YouTube search provides for a particular search term on its first result page. These 20 videos have been selected and analyzed individually because these are the videos that are most likely to be noticed by the users if they are searching for information on YouTube.
The sample of this study consists of videos, 20 videos for each search term. The searches have been carried out incrementally between January 31, and December 15, All textual and numerical information that YouTube provides for each video such as the number of views has been captured and archived. In order to study climate, climate change, and climate engineering on YouTube, this study selected YouTube videos and analyzed them using qualitative thematic analysis. A heuristic classification tool has been applied for further categorization.
Four categories have been created to classify the YouTube videos:. Videos supporting mainstream science and the scientific consensus view on human induced climate change 11 Category 1. Videos propagating denial of scientific mainstream positions, such as denial of human-induced climate change Category 3. Conspiracy theories about science and technology without reference to actual scientific discussions Category 4. The videos have been watched one by one.
Duplicate videos videos that appeared in previous searches using other search terms were omitted and another video further down the search results was selected instead, so that no video was analyzed more than once in the sample. The main focus on the analysis of the selected videos was on whether or not they adhere or challenge the scientific consensus on climate change. While watching the videos memos were taken about all statements that relate to climate change in the video. If the majority of the statements on the memos was related to climate change and contradicted the IPCC position the video was placed in category 3.
After the videos have been categorized it was calculated how many views the different categories of videos have received and what kind of videos were viewed most often. On YouTube counting views is a way of evaluating success. Van Es argues that the number of views videos on YouTube receive is the pervasive category enacted through the platform. The last step of the analysis examined if evidence for strategically distorted communications as reported by Erviti et al. This step involved also the meta information provided with the individual videos, such as the descriptions and tags of the video, or the comment sections.