Final article – Due May 5th

Read the following article:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/tech/coronavirus-conspiracy-theory/index.html

Answer the following questions as a comment to this post:

  1. Do think this is fair or unfair and why?
  2. What would you do if this happened to you. Be very specific.
    1. How would you go about clearing your name?
  3. George Webb mentioned in the article claims to be an investigative reporter.
    1. Do think George Webb’s freedom of speech should allow him to stream on YouTube and why?
      1. Cite at least three sources to support your view
    2. Do you think advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should be held responsible for supporting his stories and why?
      1. Cite three sources that explain the good or bad consequences of advertising on Youtube news channels and websites.
    3. George Webb claims to be an investigative reporter. Do you think he is or is not and why?
      https://www.youtube.com/user/georgwebb 

      1. Cite at least three of his news reports and claims that he made
        1. Cite at least three sources of facts that support or refute his claims

7 Comments on “Final article – Due May 5th

  1. 1.Do think this is fair or unfair and why?
    Yes because she is being accused of something that has no concrete evidence to back it up.

    2.What would you do if this happened to you. Be very specific.
    a. How would you go about clearing your name?
    I would ask them if I looked like I actually worked for the government or I would turn it around on George Webb.
    I would gather evidence that proves I’ve never even been out of the country so I couldn’t be patient 0.

    3. George Webb mentioned in the article claims to be an investigative reporter.
    a. Do think George Webb’s freedom of speech should allow him to stream on YouTube and why? Cite at least three sources to support your view

    I don’t think so because he is committing slander on the Maatje Benassi. George Webb can be sued over slander (https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/social-media-online-defamation.html). People take what people like George Webb and Alex Jones say too seriously so they may act on that action (https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethcohen/2020/05/02/please-dont-eat-your-neighbor–why-what-alex-jones-just-said-is-so-dangerous/#6dd5ca155810). YouTube also follows the defamation policies so it can take down videos with it (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6154230?hl=en).

    b. Do you think advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should be held responsible for supporting his stories and why? Cite three sources that explain the good or bad consequences of advertising on Youtube news channels and websites.

    No because advertisements get placed on videos whether the youtube account want them to or not. One benefit is that people trying to advertise can reach audiences (https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6052202?hl=en). It is effective (https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/11/27/youtube-advertising). You can customize the ads to match your goals (https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/youtube-advertising/#benefits-of-advertising-on-youtube).

    c. George Webb claims to be an investigative reporter. Do you think he is or is not and why?
    https://www.youtube.com/user/georgwebb. Cite at least three of his news reports and claims that he made. Cite at least three sources of facts that support or refute his claims.

    Anybody can be a reporter, but most usually have evidence to back up their claims. One claim that he has made is that Maatje Benassi started the pandemic (https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/tech/coronavirus-conspiracy-theory/index.html). This source also gets information from Benassi herself and she didn’t (https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/tech/coronavirus-conspiracy-theory/index.html). Webb takes things that hold a little bit of truth and then puts his views onto them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFVNGugpquk&t=199s) (https://www.youtube.com/user/georgwebb/videos) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udfQhVENMAw&t=35s).

  2. 1.- It’s not fair, because the couple didn’t do anything wrong. Webb just blamed a random person.
    2.- I will try to contact the Blamer and figure out why is this happening and call the authorities about it.
    1.- Bring evidence of that is not true with more of a social media presence and be more expose that way people can see that what I say is real.
    3.- Bringing the example of Alex Jones. he got banned from YouTube, Facebook and apple for spreading misinformation. these platforms have roles. and they all encourage freedom of speech, but people don’t know what freedom of speech really is or the responsibility that is implied. Freedom of speech is the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. In the example, Webb was presented his “opinion” as facts, this is not freedom of speech. Also if we look at Youtube’s laws its considered defamation, but this can vary from country to country.
    https://www.politifact.com/article/2018/aug/07/why-infowars-alex-jones-was-banned-apple-facebook-/
    https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/primers/free-expression-on-social-media/
    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6154230?hl=en
    2.- advertisers are not to responsible since they are in another department totally separate from this case. According to the source, they present you with adverting context based on your search and what you watch in general, there are some cases that if you see a video about knifes a ad about buy knifes will pop up, its all based on the cookies and the algorithm. The good thing is that you will see something that you might be interested about, the downside is that because of they collect information it might not be 100% accurate.1. they use TrueView ads, Non-skippable video ads, Bumper ads.

    https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/video-advertising/youtube-advertising/
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/youtube-advertising/
    https://www.youtube.com/ads/
    3.- he is not. why? morality. reporters just as doctor, they have a responsibility to report the truth but nowadays nobody cares about who says it but what it is about.
    This source claims that She did not do it. with Evidence! something that Webb wasn’t able to provide.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/tech/coronavirus-conspiracy-theory/index.html
    They videos shows again and again (based on the thumbnails) that most fo them are conspiracy theories convided with real information.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6ClfSYDkgo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaWrJFBa-Ec
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRsKHOPwImo

  3. Do you think this is fair or unfair and why?
    I do think it is unfair because she never asked to be a target against the conspiracy theorist. Maatje Benassi became the victim of something completely out of her hands.
    What would you do if this happened to you. Be very specific.
    At first, if the threat is under control I would just throw away the mails. However, if things kept escalating I would start searching for a new home. In using the internet not only would I limit my social media use I would also need to invest in a VPN in order to protect myself as much as I could in case of people track me.
    How would you go about clearing your name?
    Completely going against a mob is almost impossible. News sites like CNN could help or appear in more local news. Personally, I think it is impossible to convince those kinds of people because they hold onto their beliefs so strong. Even to this day, people believe that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax and was planned by some government agency.
    George Webb mentioned in the article claims to be an investigative reporter.
    Do you think George Webb’s freedom of speech should allow him to stream on YouTube and why?
    Cite at least three sources to support your view
    In a legal case yes he has his full right to express his opinion from what he considers his findings. As mentioned by Britannica “Freedom of speech, right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content.” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/freedom-of-speech) Since Youtube will still make money from his streams and views they can’t stop him either. Webb being hit without advertisers is not uncommon after 2016 Youtube had an algorithm change that affected a lot of creators. People that made their income from making entertaining videos or news videos have already lost a lot of money. (https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/5/18287318/youtube-logan-paul-pewdiepie-demonetization-adpocalypse-premium-influencers-creators) Plus the algorithm already personalized videos to people, meaning that if they see someone looking at shoes more videos that will be suggested will appear about shoes. (http://social.colostate.edu/2019/04/02/youtube-algorithm/)
    Do you think advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should be held responsible for supporting his stories and why?
    Cite three sources that explain the good or bad consequences of advertising on Youtube news channels and websites.
    Youtube can’t fix something till it is broken, hence the case when advertisers left when they saw the biggest Youtuber at the time making jokes that cross the line. (https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/5/18287318/youtube-logan-paul-pewdiepie-demonetization-adpocalypse-premium-influencers-creators) It is also how other people that make conspiracy theories also get their ads removed such as Alex Jones. Which to the advertiser’s credit, they have taken down since they found out. (https://money.cnn.com/2018/03/03/technology/youtube-ads-infowars-alex-jones/index.html) Even today most creators of youtube have a contact with said advertisers to bring money directly, both giving the advertisers control on what channels they support and creators gaining money from videos that would be demonetized. The main thing is that they must advertise in the video rather than having a person skip. Now Youtube is also trying to let creators sell their ads straight to brands, but with some exceptions such as limited channels as well as the brand and creator already having an existing relationship or sponsorship. (https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/27/21156289/youtube-ads-creators-demonetization-brands-adpocalypse-alternative-monetization-sponsorship)
    George Webb claims to be an investigative reporter. Do you think he is or is not and why?
    https://www.youtube.com/user/georgwebb
    Cite at least three of his news reports and claims that he made
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFVNGugpquk
    Claims that CoronaVirus is a bioweapon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdZ-vfJSE9U
    Measles vaccine causes encephalitis
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oDfnOzarwo
    Shiff is Impeaching Trump again for obstruction of justice.
    Cite at least three sources of facts that support or refute his claims
    “There is currently no hard intelligence or scientific evidence to support the theory that it spread from a lab in China, people briefed on the matter said.” (politico: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/23/coronavirus-bioweapon-threat-205192)
    The vaccine itself does not cause encephalitis, the Measles themselves already do that:
    https://www.cdc.gov/measles/symptoms/complications.html
    While Shiff is impeaching trump once more he is keeping the investigation more secret:
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/adam-schiff-fights-to-keep-impeachment-subpoena-records-secret

  4. Do you think this is fair or unfair, and why?
    Based on the story about the conspiracy theory, I think it is unfair. By publishing and even making some unverified information about someone is not good. Making it unverified public details about someone, especially for personal gain, is not a good thing. This can have detrimental effects, especially if the information has a massive global effect.

    What would you do if this happened to you (Be very specific)? How would you go about clearing your name?
    I would stay put and calm. This will help me continue with my everyday life regardless of what is being said about me in social media. Believing in something that one knows is not true, can have a long-term effect on a person. That is why I will try to stay as usual and inform people that the information being passed across is not true and that it is aimed at tainting my name and image.

    George Webb mentioned in the article claims to be an investigative reporter.
    Do you think George Webb’s freedom of speech should allow him to stream on YouTube and why? Cite at least three sources to support your view
    George Webb’s freedom of speech should not allow him to stream on YouTube any unverified contents. Since YouTube is one of the social media platforms, it is prudent to upload only content that has been verified to be true. By uploading any untrue and unverified information, especially for monetary gain, it is wrong and will be against the rights of any person.In the article “What Does Free Speech Mean?” about the US constitution, freedom of speech does not include the rights to make or disseminate falsified or unverified information in the media. This means that the freedom of expression in terms of speech is limited, and does not include incitements that lead to personal gains and profits.

    Do you think advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should be held responsible for supporting his stories and why? Cite three sources that explain the good or bad consequences of advertising on Youtube news channels and websites.
    The advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should not be held responsible for supporting his stories. For any content to be uploaded to YouTube pages, it is assumed that it has passed all the tests of al the authorities that govern what should be put in media. Advertisers, in this case, are innocent since they only look for a YouTube channel that has a lot of followers as a chance to advertise and market their products. In the article “YouTube Advertising: New Research and Insights for Marketers” by Michelle Krasniak, she reveals that viewers have a greater acceptance of the ads ran on YouTube more readily than on any other platforms like on Facebook. This means that the influence manned on YouTube is more significant, hence the need to put stringently measured to ensure that anything that is uploaded is free of any disputes.

    In another article, “YouTube advertising value and its effects on purchase intention” by Duygu Firat, he found out in his studies that informativeness and entertainment and trendiness had a positive effect on YouTube advertising value; however, irritation had a negative impact. Besides, the findings showed that YouTube advertising value had a positive impact on purchasing intention. This means that whatever was uploaded on YouTube has a more significant influence on people viewing it, and thus anything uploaded may be taken as being true.

    George Webb claims to be an investigative reporter. Do you think he is or is not and why?
    George Webb is an investigative reporter. For one to be an investigative reporter, they tend to conduct various research reports of news that carry heavyweights in terms of content. Ranging from his several investigative reports, George Webb is a renowned media investigative journalist.

    References

    United States Federal Courts (2007). Retrieved from: https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/what-does

    Krasnia, Michelle (2019) “YouTube Advertising: New Research and Insights for Marketers” Retrieved from:https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/youtube-advertising-research-insights-marketers/

    Fiart, Duygu (2019)”YouTube advertising value and its effects on purchase intention”.Journal of Global Business Insights.

  5. Do you think this is fair or unfair, and why?
    I believe this is entirely unfair for Maatje Benassi to be falsely accused of being the one responsible for this pandemic. George Webb is a complete lunatic. None of his evidence is clear or valid, or even makes sense, for example: what does the DJ Benny Bennasi have anything to do with the story?

    What would you do if this happened to you? Be very specific.
    First, I would laugh at his face since this can’t be taken seriously by someone who has the minimum number of brain cells. But since I know this is extremely dangerous, since she has been threatened to be killed, I would go to the police and ask for protection. After I would get in contact with George Webb to ask him to take it down the videos, If that didn’t work, I would go straight to youtube to have it take it down and get my side of the story out so everyone can judge.

    How would you go about clearing your name?
    First, I would contact all the channels (youtube, etc..)who helped him to spread this false rumor to take it down the videos. Second I would get in contact with George Web itself to discuss how his lies affect my life in a hope he would stop spreading this nonsense. Third I would upload a very thoroughly detailed video explaining all the information that was falsely attributed to me. And for last, I would get in contact with all the news and social media to spread my video around.

    3George Webb mentioned in the article claims to be an investigative reporter.
    Do you think George Webb’s freedom of speech should allow him to stream on YouTube and why?
    No, he is spreading false rumors that can kill someone. His hate speech should overrule his freedom of speech “right” since, according to BBC, “YouTube is not a “public forum” that must guarantee users’ rights to free speech, a US court has ruled.”

    Cite at least three sources to support your view
    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51658341
    https://www.insidesources.com/youtube-content-ban-sparks-backlash-from-free-speech-advocates/
    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/sunday-review/free-speech-in-the-age-of-youtube.html

    Do you think advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should be held responsible for supporting his stories and why?
    Yes, they should! There’s an expression in Portuguese that roughly translates as: “stop clapping for crazy” or “stop giving the stage for the clown.” That means that if you keep adding fuel to something, it will explode, no matter if it is accurate or if it is right or wrong. If these companies keep advertising on his channel, it means that they agree with what has being said, and they support and promote hate speech.

    Cite three sources that explain the good or bad consequences of advertising on Youtube news channels and websites.
    https://www.smallbizdaily.com/how-youtube-is-being-held-accountable-for-content/
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/04/youtube-creators-may-also-be-held-liable-for-coppa-violations-following-ftc-settlement/
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/24/15053990/google-youtube-advertising-boycott-hate-speech
    https://www.engadget.com/2019-06-06-youtube-section-230-hate-speech.html

    George Webb claims to be an investigative reporter. Do you think he is or is not and why? https://www.youtube.com/user/georgwebb
    I do not think that he is a journalist. To become a journalist, you have to have a degree and follow ethical rules, something that he does not have. He can say proclaim himself to be anything, that doesn’t mean he is, this excellent argument against all his rumors since he doesn’t have any credentials to prove his stories, especially the one discussed here.

    https://medium.com/@panegron/an-accidental-journalist-and-his-historic-crowd-sourced-investigation-dc5570ecbae9
    https://cyclingtips.com/2020/03/well-folks-you-wont-believe-whats-being-pinned-on-cyclists-now/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc2gRZ3IHMw
    https://money.cnn.com/2017/06/16/media/port-of-charleston-dirty-bomb-conspiracy-theory-shutdown/index.html
    https://www.newsandguts.com/cnn-evidence-free-conspiracy-theory-blames-army-reservist-for-pandemic/

  6. Do you think this is fair or unfair and why?
    – This is unfair because Benassi has been falsely accused of starting the pandemic when there wasn’t concrete evidence. There has been a lot of misinformation spread about the virus and many people don’t read about it but just go on to believe it.

    What would you do if this happened to you? Be very specific.
    – I would’ve probably contacted authorities to see what they can do to help me because if something this big happens you don’t want to handle it yourself. Contacting authorities and try to ask them to help you find evidence on who started the rumor. Also, possibly hiring a lawyer.

    How would you go about clearing your name?
    – I would bring a witness with me or someone who actually knows me and bring some evidence about myself.

    George Webb mentioned in the article claims to be an investigative reporter.
    • Do think George Webb’s freedom of speech should allow him to stream on YouTube and why?
    – Sure, freedom of speech allows anyone and everyone to speak upon their selves and speak what they want too but I feel like some stuff should’ve been kept to their selves. In the article, it even mentions that Webb was part of a trio conspiracy theorist that pushed a false rumor before. Yes, Webb should be allowed to stream on YouTube, but Webb try to bring up his own “opinions” to make it into facts by saying that DJ Benny Benassi’s 2002 song, had the coronavirus and that he was a part of a plot that connected to the virus. I feel like Webb is speaking is “freedom of speech” differently because freedom of speech is being able to speak your opinions without consent. In this other article, he talks about how the virus started in a U.S military lab by Benassi. I feel like he shouldn’t spread too much misinformation about certain things that could be fake. It mentions in the article how Webb had no sort of evidence to support his claim about Benassi. He’s doing a lot of things that can get him to remove off the YouTube platform.

    • Cite at least three sources to support your view.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/03/26/chinese-state-newspaper-stokes-conspiracy-theory-that-first-covid-19-patient-was-us-cyclist/#3991290628dd
    https://www.npr.org/2020/04/17/837202898/comic-fake-news-can-be-deadly-heres-how-to-spot-it
    https://www.youtube.com/about/policies/#community-guidelines

    Do you think advertisers on George Webb’s YouTube channel should be held responsible for supporting his stories and why?
    – I don’t think advertisers should be held responsible because advertisers just pay to get their advertising put out there not knowing where it’s going to be placed on YouTube. It could be placed on both negative and positive content because if your channel is already monetized/getting paid then, there will be ads on there and only the owner of the channel can pick what ads they want to have on their channel or just leave it as it is.

    • Cite three sources that explain the good or bad consequences of advertising on Youtube news channels and websites.
    https://medium.com/@James.Ashley/negative-positive-effects-of-advertising-9242650ae767
    https://bizfluent.com/info-8451176-positive-negative-effects-advertising.html
    https://www.thebalancecareers.com/is-advertising-harmful-to-society-38971

    George Webb claims to be an investigative reporter. Do you think he is or is not and why?
    – In my perspective, I don’t think he is an investigative reporter. I feel like nowadays anyone can consider their selves as a reporter and claim that they have news to spread and it can just be misinformation. I am pretty sure you would also need some type of degree to actually become a reporter. For example, Webb blaming and targeting Benassi about starting the pandemic but didn’t have valid evidence to back up his claim.

    • Cite at least three of his news reports and claims that he made
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/27/tech/coronavirus-conspiracy-theory/index.html

    • Cite at least three sources of facts that support or refute his claims
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFVNGugpquk&t=199s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udfQhVENMAw

  7. 1. I do not think it is fair because there was no evidence whatsoever that Benassi or her family ever had COVID-19 or ever showed symptoms. Allegations so serious could result in danger that Benassi nor her family deserves.

    2. If this happened to me I would petition that law enforcement do more to assist myself and my family despite the fact that the threats are perceived to be “empty”. To do this, I would reference the countless times that massacre-shooters made threats or showed signs of being a danger to others before actually carrying out their–but no one took them seriously or did anything to intervene beforehand. Seeing as we don’t know what any single person is capable of, and the fact that there are a profound amount of targetted threats, law enforcement is better off being safe than sorry.

    2.1. To clear my name, I would take to the internet and plead a detailed argument in defense of myself and my family. In addition, I would have my family tested for COVID-19 and request that the military vouch for my credibility in whatever way they can.

    3.1. Webb has every right to say whatever he wants because he does have freedom of speech. However, making accusations that he can’t provide evidence for other than a source he can’t name is just wildly irresponsible and cruel. With almost 100k YouTube subscribers and what I assumed to be a loyal following that hangs on his every word, he undoubtedly knew that by making these claims, he would be putting Benassi, her husband, and both of her children in serious danger. Anything that a random YouTuber on the internet could come up with, could certainly be discovered by government authorities in any one of the affected countries with access to more inside information; so what makes his claims credible at all? Wouldn’t the government have drawn the same conclusions already if Benassi was, in fact, patient zero?

    In addition, while has not broken any laws exercising his freedom of speech, he has defied YouTube policies and undermined the ethics of being a journalist, as he claims to be. In terms of YouTube policies, the content in his video on this matter has broken these Policy and Safety Rules: harmful and dangerous content, hateful content, harassment/cyberbullying content, threats (ie. invading the privacy of the Benassi family, and revealing personal information), and posting content that encourages Terms of Service Violations (ie. the other YouTubers commenting slander and threats (even death threats) toward the Benassi family in response to his video).

    As a journalist, it is Webb’s moral and ethical duty to report news that is true or if it is a speculation, the claims should be backed by evidence that drew him to his conclusions. The SPJ ethical rules he’s broken are:
    1. Gather, update, and correct information throughout the life of a story.
    2. Identify sources cleary (which he did not). “The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources”
    3. Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Explain why anonymity was granted.
    4. Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
    5. Minimize harm
    6. Expose unethical conduct in journalism (or in his case, don’t participate in unethical conduct in journalism)

    YT Policies: https://www.youtube.com/about/policies/#reporting-and-enforcement
    YT Additional Policy: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2801981?hl=en
    SPJ Ethics code for journalists: https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    3.2. Yes, I think that advertisers are just as responsible as Webb, if not more. Advertisements for a video that advertisers know could potentially put others in harm should have been flagged and denied publication. During this time of uncertainty, many policies have been set in place to avoid fake COVID-related news being distributed to the public. Since Webb’s claims are not factual or proven with definitive evidence, it should be considered fake news.

    Ethics in Advertising: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/advertising-ethics.htm
    COVID Fake news: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-52477361/covid-19-investigating-the-spread-of-fake-coronavirus-news
    Policy for unacceptable COVID-related content on YT: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/9803260?hl=en

    3.3. No, I do not consider him an investigative reporter at all. It is his job to tell facts, and NEWS, not make claims based on wild speculations. In my opinion, it seems that his evidence-gathering was biased and almost forced so that Benassi would be the patient-zero; I say this because there are many other people who have been accused of being patient-zero with A LOT more evidence against them. Instead, he should have gathered all of the evidence he could get, and THEN conclude who is more likely to have been patient-zero.

    In the description of this video, he states that he retracts his claims (that he was previously SO certain of) about Benassi’s coronavirus diagnosis. He also said: “I realize now I was being fed bad information to entrap me, exactly in the same way an FBI informant was used on my way to Piketon, Ohio three years ago. I am correcting my reporting that she only acted as a NATO Courier for the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO at the Wuhan Games which was my original reporting on this topic.”
    Hogan Stabs Trump In The Back With Secret Flight From Inchon Opening Door To Doped Test Kits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3UB0-erGZE

    How Coronavirus fooled everybody in the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFVNGugpquk

    Coronavirus Wheeler Dealer? Another Pay To Play Scam Emerges From Ft. Detrick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdZY5OtJYe0

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