Tags: Media Bias | Russia | Russia Probe | youtube | russia today | rt | election meddling

NYT: YouTube Helped Russia-Backed News Outlet Grow, Thrive

NYT: YouTube Helped Russia-Backed News Outlet Grow, Thrive
(Vitaliy Ankov/AP)

By    |   Monday, 23 October 2017 11:02 PM

YouTube helped Russian state news outlet Russia Today thrive and expand into one of the video site's top news channels for subscribers, views, and "engagement," and congressional investigators are digging deeper to determine how it affected the 2016 presidential election, The New York Times reports.

RT's main English-language YouTube channel has 2.2 million subscribers, compared to 2.3 million for CNN. The channel is featured in YouTube's top search results, and its reach – 2.1 billion views – stems from a solid relationship with YouTube, which is owned by Google, according to current and former RT employees and technology industry analysts who spoke with the Times.

"RT management did view YouTube as hugely important to spreading content," Liz Wahl, a former correspondent in the United States for RT, told the Times. "Traditional television ratings weren't important because the aim was to get the messaging out through various digital and social platforms."

YouTube, according to the Times, designated RT as a verified news source early on, and included custom backgrounds for its channel. The news outlet until early October was also included in YouTube's package of channels bundled together for advertising sales.

"More than half of American adults say they watch YouTube, and younger viewers are moving to YouTube at staggering numbers," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia's interference in the election. "YouTube is a target-rich environment for any disinformation campaign — Russian or otherwise — that represents a long-term, next-generation challenge."

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Congressional investigators are digging deeper to determine how Russian state news outlet Russia Today's presence on YouTube affected the 2016 presidential election, The New York Times reports.
youtube, russia today, rt, election meddling
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2017-02-23
Monday, 23 October 2017 11:02 PM
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