Monetizing Propaganda: How Far-right Extremists Earn Money by Video Streaming

05/12/2021
by   Megan Squire, et al.
0

Video streaming platforms such as Youtube, Twitch, and DLive allow users to live-stream video content for viewers who can optionally express their appreciation through monetary donations. DLive is one of the smaller and lesser-known streaming platforms, and historically has had fewer content moderation practices. It has thus become a popular place for violent extremists and other clandestine groups to earn money and propagandize. What is the financial structure of the DLive streaming ecosystem and how much money is changing hands? In the past it has been difficult to understand how far-right extremists fundraise via podcasts and video streams because of the secretive nature of the activity and because of the difficulty of getting data from social media platforms. This paper describes a novel experiment to collect and analyze data from DLive's publicly available ledgers of transactions in order to understand the financial structure of the clandestine, extreme far-right video streaming community. The main findings of this paper are, first, that the majority of donors are using micropayments in varying frequencies, but a small handful of donors spend large amounts of money to finance their favorite streamers. Next, the timing of donations to high-profile far-right streamers follows a fairly predictable pattern that is closely tied to a broadcast schedule. Finally, the far-right video streaming financial landscape is divided into separate cliques which exhibit very little crossover in terms of sizable donations. This work will be important to technology companies, policymakers, and researchers who are trying to understand how niche social media services, including video platforms, are being exploited by extremists to propagandize and fundraise.

READ FULL TEXT
POST COMMENT

Comments

There are no comments yet.

Authors

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

08/01/2021

Motivations and Expectations for Virtual Gift-Giving in Douyin Live Streams

Social live streaming services (SLSS) (e.g. Twitch, YouTube Live) combin...
03/22/2018

An Empirical Study of Affiliate Marketing Disclosures on YouTube and Pinterest

While disclosures relating to various forms of Internet advertising are ...
12/01/2020

Audience and Streamer Participation at Scale on Twitch

Large-scale streaming platforms such as Twitch are becoming increasingly...
03/07/2018

Facebook (A)Live? Are live social broadcasts really broadcasts?

The era of live-broadcast is back but with two major changes. First, unl...
02/25/2021

Are Anti-Feminist Communities Gateways to the Far Right? Evidence from Reddit and YouTube

Researchers have suggested that "the Manosphere," a conglomerate of men-...
10/23/2017

A Quantitative Study of the Impact of Social Media Reviews on Brand Perception

This thesis can be categorized under the Influencer Marketing industry w...
01/15/2019

Measuring Effectiveness of Video Advertisements

Advertisements are unavoidable in modern society. Times Square is notori...
This week in AI

Get the week's most popular data science and artificial intelligence research sent straight to your inbox every Saturday.