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YouTube: The Great Radicalizer
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This is how the video channel plays folks, 24/7/365:

"At one point during the 2016 presidential election campaign, I watched a bunch of videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. I was writing an article about his appeal to his voter base and wanted to confirm a few quotations.

Soon I noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and “autoplay” videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.

Since I was not in the habit of watching extreme right-wing fare on YouTube, I was curious whether this was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. So I created another YouTube account and started watching videos of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, letting YouTube’s recommender algorithm take me wherever it would.

Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with.

Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons. . . . The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation of YouTube content with the help of Mr. Chaslot. It found that YouTube often “fed far-right or far-left videos to users who watched relatively mainstream news sources,” and that such extremist tendencies were evident with a wide variety of material. If you searched for information on the flu vaccine, you were recommended anti-vaccination conspiracy videos."
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Re: YouTube: The Great Radicalizer [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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big kahuna wrote:
This is how the video channel plays folks, 24/7/365:

"At one point during the 2016 presidential election campaign, I watched a bunch of videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. I was writing an article about his appeal to his voter base and wanted to confirm a few quotations.

Soon I noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and “autoplay” videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.

Since I was not in the habit of watching extreme right-wing fare on YouTube, I was curious whether this was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. So I created another YouTube account and started watching videos of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, letting YouTube’s recommender algorithm take me wherever it would.

Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with.

Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons. . . . The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation of YouTube content with the help of Mr. Chaslot. It found that YouTube often “fed far-right or far-left videos to users who watched relatively mainstream news sources,” and that such extremist tendencies were evident with a wide variety of material. If you searched for information on the flu vaccine, you were recommended anti-vaccination conspiracy videos."

Can't the NYT work the Russians into this in some way? It cannot be as simple as weird, prurient, funny, extreme, or outrageous clickbait gets the clicks and thus the recommendations. It has to be conspiracy directed by Putin himself.
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Re: YouTube: The Great Radicalizer [Arch Stanton] [ In reply to ]
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Arch Stanton wrote:
big kahuna wrote:
This is how the video channel plays folks, 24/7/365:

"At one point during the 2016 presidential election campaign, I watched a bunch of videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. I was writing an article about his appeal to his voter base and wanted to confirm a few quotations.

Soon I noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and “autoplay” videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.

Since I was not in the habit of watching extreme right-wing fare on YouTube, I was curious whether this was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. So I created another YouTube account and started watching videos of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, letting YouTube’s recommender algorithm take me wherever it would.

Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with.

Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons. . . . The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation of YouTube content with the help of Mr. Chaslot. It found that YouTube often “fed far-right or far-left videos to users who watched relatively mainstream news sources,” and that such extremist tendencies were evident with a wide variety of material. If you searched for information on the flu vaccine, you were recommended anti-vaccination conspiracy videos."


Can't the NYT work the Russians into this in some way? It cannot be as simple as weird, prurient, funny, extreme, or outrageous clickbait gets the clicks and thus the recommendations. It has to be conspiracy directed by Putin himself.

Give 'em some time. I'm sure they'll figure out a way to get 'er done. ;-)
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Re: YouTube: The Great Radicalizer [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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It's not foolproof, I sometimes watch science or history videos and it's not that unusual to get suggested videos from the kooks along with legitimate ones.

I often wonder if everyone else can tell the kooks.
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Re: YouTube: The Great Radicalizer [ThisIsIt] [ In reply to ]
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ThisIsIt wrote:
It's not foolproof, I sometimes watch science or history videos and it's not that unusual to get suggested videos from the kooks along with legitimate ones.

I often wonder if everyone else can tell the kooks.

I hear that. I was watching a few videos about the Spacex Falcon Heavy launch and its future and some "They didn't really launch it, it's all a government-supported hoax" videos began creeping in. ;-)
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Re: YouTube: The Great Radicalizer [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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This explains everything. Like how I started out last night watching funny skiing mishaps and went from there to extreme ski crashes, wingsuit crashes, daredevil/parkour falls, and ended up listening to a graphic description (thankfully no video) of a cave explorer's slow and agonizing death trapped upside-down for 27 hours in a narrow tube.
Last edited by: PeterP: Mar 14, 18 10:33
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Re: YouTube: The Great Radicalizer [PeterP] [ In reply to ]
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PeterP wrote:
This explains everything. Like how I started out last night watching funny skiing mishaps and went from there to extreme ski crashes, wingsuit crashes, daredevil/parkour falls, and ended up listening to a graphic description (thankfully no video) of a cave explorer's slow and agonizing death trapped upside-down for 27 hours in a narrow tube.

See how devilishly clever they are?!?! ;-)
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