The video contained local CBS News footage of Hogg’s 2017 interview approximately recording his friend’s viral confrontation with a lifeguard on Redondo Beach.
The video has since been repurposed by right-wing conspiracy theorists in their efforts to prove that many of the survivors of the shooting who possess become advocates for gun reform are really “crisis actors” planted to propagate an anti-Trump narrative and push for liberal anti-gun legislation.
Several erroneous conspiracy theories possess targeted Hogg, who has been been outspoken in his call for lawmakers and politicians to lift action against guns. Right-wing websites such as Gateway Pundit possess suggested that Hogg was “coached” by his father, a former FBI agent, to push an anti-Trump rhetoric in the aftermath of the tragedy.
The right-wing movement to discredit the young survivors has gained momentum as prominent Trump supporters, including former Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke and conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, possess endorsed the conspiracy theories that the students’ push for gun reform is an orchestrated left-wing political effort. Donald Trump Jr. also liked two tweets peddling conspiracy theories approximately Hogg.
Prior to the Paul controversy, YouTube was already facing a massive content crisis when it was forced to delete disturbing and exploitative viral videos depicting children in abusive situations. BuzzFeed News if the company with dozens of examples.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, YouTube added that “our system misclassified” the video.
“This video should never possess appeared in Trending. Because the video contained footage from an authoritative news source, our system misclassified it. As soon as we became aware of the video, we removed it from Trending and from YouTube for violating our policies. We are working to improve our systems moving forward,” the statement said.
YouTube does not possess humans curating what videos appear in the Trending list. The Trending Tab is curated by a human-trained algorithm that considers view count, rate of growth in views, and the age of the video.
In a statement to commerce, trade Insider, a YouTube spokesperson said that changes made to its search algorithm in 2017, to gain better results from “authoritative news sources” were not “working quickly enough.”
The statement said:
In 2017, we started rolling out changes to better surface authoritative news sources in search results, particularly around breaking news events. We’ve seen improvements, but in some circumstances these changes are not working quickly enough. In addition, final year we updated the application of our harassment policy to include hoax videos that target the victims of these tragedies. Any video flagged to us that violates this policy is reviewed and then removed. We’re committed to making more improvements throughout 2018 to accomplish these tools faster, better and more useful to users.
YouTube did not respond to BuzzFeed News’s request for comments.