Frequently, the videos consist of little more than screenshots of a Reddit “investigation” laid out chronologically, set to ominous music. Other times, they’re very simple, featuring a man in a sparse room speaking directly into his webcam, or a very fast monotone narration over a series of photographs with effects straight out of iMovie. There’s a financial incentive for vloggers to make as many videos as cheaply they can; the more videos you make, the more likely one is to go viral. David Seaman’s videos typically garner more than 50,000 views and often exceed 100,000. Many of Seaman’s videos adjoin ads for major brands. A preroll ad for Asana, the productivity software, precedes a video entitled “WIKILEAKS: Illuminati Rothschild Influence & Simulation Theory”; before “Pizzagate: Do We Know the Full Scope Yet?!” it’s an ad for Uber, and before “HILLARY CLINTON’S HORROR SHOW,” one for a new Fox comedy. (Most YouTubers have no direct control over which brands’ ads run next to their videos, and vice versa.)
This trough isn’t just wide, it’s deep. A YouTube search for the term “The Truth About the Holocaust” returns half a million results. The top 10 are all Holocaust-denying or Holocaust-skeptical. (Sample titles: “The Greatest Lie Ever Told,” which has 500,000 views; “The Great Jewish Lie”; “The Sick Lies of a Holocaust™ ‘Survivor.’”) Say the half million videos average about 10 minutes. That works out to 5 million minutes, or about 10 years, of “Truth About the Holocaust.”
Meanwhile, “The Truth About Pizzagate” returns a quarter of a million results, including “PizzaGate Definitive Factcheck: Oh My God” (620,000 views and counting) and “The Men Who Knew Too Much About PizzaGate” (who, per a teaser image, include retired Gen. Michael Flynn and Andrew Breitbart).