YouTube is a valuable resource or a source of entertainment depending on how you use it. A recent research by Pew Research Center revealed the positive and negatives of YouTube, detailing how the video sharing platform is being used in the US.
Based on a survey of 4,594 people, Pew highlights that people of all ages use YouTube, being especially popular for its how-to videos and entertainment focused clips. However, a number of users also reported that they ran into disturbing or fake videos as well.
According to Pew’s statistics, 87% of respondents said that YouTube was important for learning new skills. This was true for people of all age groups, with more than 50% of those aged between 18-29 agreeing with this sentiment. Moreover, 41% of people aged 65 and above also agreed.
As mentioned earlier, YouTube is also home to disturbing and unsettling videos. Pew’s survey mentions that 3 out of 5 people run into videos depicting people in dangerous or troubling scenarios. While 66% of people said that they encounter fake or conspiracy videos and 15% find these videos regularly.
This doesn’t sound too good, considering that a lot of people also use YouTube as a news source. 53% of survey respondents said that they use YouTube to help them understand what’s happening in the world.
YouTube has been the subject of controversy over the past year, from disturbing video as well as conspiracy theory related content popping up on YouTube kids, to showing graphic and obscene ads to users.
The video-sharing platform has also removed a large number of videos, some of them being removed before even a single view was registered on them. It removed 17 million videos in the first half of 2018 alone.
YouTube also mentioned that they’ve added features to allow credible news sources to show up, especially during major events.