Scholarship holders use Telegram to boost videos hidden on YouTube – Applications and Software – Tecnoblog

A study published by the journal Or Balloon reveals that the Pocketnarista network on Telegram, WhatsApp’s main competitor, uses the messenger to boost YouTube channels aligned with the President of the Republic that have hidden videos. This happens when the content author fears a platform sanction.

Telegram App (Image: Ivan Radic/Flickr)
Telegram App (Image: Ivan Radic/Flickr)

The researchers gathered 4 million messages from 150 groups considered to be aligned with President Jair Bolsonaro in the Telegram, between January and October of this year. The group identified a large wave of sharing links to Pocket Narist channels on YouTube.

Scholarship holders use Telegram to circumvent YouTube

According to the survey released by the study Or Balloon, YouTube had the highest amount of link sharing, with 440,756 URLs transmitted by Telegram. “The heart of the pocketbook is on YouTube, because that’s where the money is, it’s where they manage to pay themselves”, highlights Leonardo Nascimento, a researcher at UFBA. Nascimento is the research coordinator alongside Letícia Cesarino (UFSC) and Paulo Fonseca (UFBA).

One of the researchers’ hypotheses is that Telegram, which gained even more Brazilian users — especially after WhatsApp suffered the October blackout — has been used by pocketnaristas to boost videos that were hidden by the president’s supporters on YouTube. Hiding content means “hiding” it from the general public, which in turn restricts its circulation.

That means the video generates less revenue for its creator. In this sense, the Telegram comes in as a way of trying to circumvent the system: link sharing allows content to continue to circulate and generate money through ads. The messenger allows the creation of groups with up to 200 thousand members, in addition to channels with an unlimited number of subscribers. Jair Bolsonaro’s page, for example, has over 1 million subscribers.

YouTube’s primary means of remuneration is views: Google’s platform pays between $0.25 and $4.50 for every thousand views achieved. There are five other ways to get paid for content, these being advertising revenue, superchat, Premium subscriptions — the site’s subscription service — membership, and merchandising.

According to the study by researchers from UFBA and UFSC, the most popular link shared by pocketnaristas on the Telegram was a video from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). In the content, the minister and president of the court, Luís Roberto Barroso, speaks in English and defends the Brazilian electoral process, the target of attacks by Jair Bolsonaro. The video was published in June.

But calm down. Not quite what you’re thinking. The mobilization of the Pocket Narist base in the Telegram was to dislike the TSE piece. The link to the video was shared 576 times in total. One of the messages read:

Urgent. Barroso recorded 3 more videos defending the electronic voting machines. Whoever can, dislike the 3. Disclose (sic)

The second video most shared by pocketnaristas on the Telegram — with 535 submissions — is called “Edge of Corruption”. In English, the content launches attacks on former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a possible opponent of Bolsonaro in the 2022 elections. In addition, the recording describes the current president of the Republic as “democratic, honest, humble and courageous”, adding that he rid Brazil of corruption.

Another video, which called for a military intervention coordinated by Bolsonaro, came in third, with 455 shares.

Then, in the ranking, Burger King’s advertising piece about LGBT+ Pride Month was the target of a campaign of dislikes from the president’s supporters, and had 419 shares. Lastly, the premiere of the 4 in 4 program, by the Pocket Influencers Rodrigo Constantino, Guilherme Constantino, Ana Paula Henkel and Luís Ernesto Lacombe, had 278 submissions.

Sites like Terça Livre are more shared

Guilherme Felitti, owner of Novelo Data, tells the Or Balloon that the shortcut found to boost videos only works due to the non-interference of the Google platform on the content that is produced. Felitti monitors the activity of PocketNarist channels on YouTube, and gathers information about deleted, hidden and unlisted videos.

Felliti completa:

When you’re not in YouTube’s crosshairs (for content violations), one of the best strategies is to place the video as unlisted. The video keeps running ads and being sent to communities. The person continues to earn money in a “protected” way

This has already happened when a video taken down by YouTube was “unlisted” by *Young Pan* to try to circumvent the platform’s detection system.

Also according to the study, all the sites most shared by Jair Bolsonaro’s Telegram supporters are hyper-partisan. These are pages known to spread disinformation, such as the Online City Newspaper — it is the most popular, with 56,700 links sent.

Then comes the Political Connection (12.3 thousand). O Free Tuesday, which had its YouTube channel suspended by the courts. The founder of the page, Allan dos Santos, is investigated in two different inquiries by the Supreme Court.

Minister Alexandre de Moraes, of the STF, ordered Google to provide the IP address of all donors who deposited on the Free Tuesday channel on YouTube.

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