YouTube network graph of 6,902 AI-generated news videos

📺FakeTube: AI-Generated News on YouTube

One of the results of my recent post-election “news ecosystem” effort was the presence of YouTube. Beyond YouTube’s role in hosting videos through embeds on political websites, after reading a piece on A.I. and YouTube by Guillaume Chaslot, I thought I’d look more into why it increasingly feels YouTube, like Google, is being harnessed as a powerful agenda booster for certain political voices.

A Tease?

A Tease: netanyahu russia jerusalem
“A Tease…” video description
Accompanying playlist for “A Tease: netanyahu russiajerusalem” video:
YouTube API: Search
Examples of 6,902 related videos from “A Tease…” search on YouTube (API)
Network graph of 6,902 related videos from “A Tease…” search on YouTube (API)

19 Channels, 78,349 Videos

In the first search round, I found 19 YouTube channels containing videos titled “A Tease….” The IDs and names of each of these channels are listed below. The channel names include: TipTopBest, A T User, Tip Top, T Drinker 2465, Tiptop Insights, Another T Drinker, Another TipTop User, T Drinker 7438, T Drinker 46895, T Drinker 865110, TipTop T, A TipTop Drinker, T Drinker 6593, T Drinker 743339, T Drinker 176, T Drinker 247, and three “non-T” channels: [Chinese], CNN BRK, and Trump VS Putin.

19 YouTube channels with AI-generated news “Tease” videos

Curated, Republished, and AI-Narrated

Each “T” AI-generated video consists of a progressive “slideshow” of still images related to the title of the video, which originate from various websites, Wordpress blogs, and content delivery networks across the internet. It’s notable that the last frame of these “Tease” videos seem to have a “copyright” disclaimer.

Shows the final frame in “A Tease…” video
List of URL sources (under collapsed “… More” section) on “A Tease: netanyahu russia jerusalem” video
TipTop Tech YouTube AI-generated “news” videos are being shared on Facebook

Every Three Minutes a News Video is Born

Given the large number of these AI-generated YouTube videos, I thought it might be interesting to see the time between uploads. It appears some of these “A Tease…” channels (see “A T User” example below) post new “news” videos every three to four minutes.

Video list from API call for “A T User” YouTube channel
Sample of videos on YouTube channel “Trump vs. Putin”
YouTube network graph of 6,902 AI-generated news videos (Close-up)
Google searches for YouTube channel IDs

Professor and researcher in news, journalism, and #hashtags. Award-nominated data journalist. Media, communication, and technology.

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