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Submitted: 06 May 2020
Accepted: 15 May 2020
ePublished: 12 Jul 2020
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Health Promot Perspect. 2020;10(3): 282-286.
doi: 10.34172/hpp.2020.42
PMID: 32802765
PMCID: PMC7420161
Scopus ID: 85090687517
  Abstract View: 433
  PDF Download: 197
  Full Text View: 70

Original Article

Climate change on YouTube: A potential platform for youth learning

Beatriz Duran-Becerra 1* ORCID logo, Grace C. Hillyer 1,2 ORCID logo, Alison Cosgrove 3, Corey H. Basch 3 ORCID logo

1 Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, NY, NY 10032, USA
2 Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University NY, NY 10032, USA
3 Department of Public Health, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ 07470, USA
*Corresponding Author: Beatriz Duran-Becerra, Email: bd2426@columbia.edu

Abstract

Background: Climate change is one of the most critical threats to our society. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to describe the content of the most viewed climate change videos on YouTube.

Methods: The term “climate change” was used to search on YouTube to garner a sample of the 100 most widely-viewed videos. Videos in a language other than English, or considered irrelevant, were excluded. Using a fact sheet from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, content categories were created and successively coded.

Results: The mean number of views for the 100 videos evaluated was 231,140.2 views (SD= 718, 399.5) and the mean length was 12.1 minutes (SD= 24.1). Most videos were uploaded by a news source (77.0%), included a belief that climate change is happening (77.0%), and mentioned the impact of climate change on the environment (71.0%). Only one-third of the videos mentioned how to prevent climate change (33.0%). More than half focused on a specific environment and, of those, 47.2% specifically focused on cities. Compared to videos that did not focus on a specific environment, the videos with an environmental focus were more often intended for adults (87.3% vs. 53.3%, P≤0.001).

Conclusion: This study highlights the need for climate change YouTube videos intended for youth. Targeting youth may lead to engagement of younger generations in climate change discourse and inspire climate action. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of YouTube as a platform for educational videos on climate change.

Keywords: Climate change, Social media, Adolescents
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Abstract View: 433

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