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YouTube's war on conspiracy videos continues

Posted on Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 | Comment icon 44 comments

YouTube is not a fan of conspiracy content. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Colin / Wikimedia
The video hosting giant has been drastically reducing the number of conspiracy video recommendations.
Back in January 2019, YouTube announced that, among other things, it would be working to reign in conspiratorial content on its platform by reducing how often such videos would be recommended to users - a system that influences the majority of the content consumed on a daily basis.

While conspiracy videos wouldn't be outright banned on the platform, a reduction in the number of recommendations was likely to have a significant adverse effect on the channels producing them.

Now according to a new study, YouTube stayed true to its word and managed to reduce the number of conspiracy video recommendations by 70% over the first five months since the announcement.
While it seems that the number did increase again after this time, conspiracy video recommendations are now reportedly 40% less common than they were before the change was announced.

The researchers also found that while the move has only had a minor impact on some topics, others, such as 9/11 conspiracy theories, have been almost wiped off the recommendations system entirely.

Given that we don't know exactly how YouTube's recommendation algorithm works and which subjects it considers 'conspiracies', predicting how things will change moving forward is very difficult.

It seems probable that most, if not all, conspiracy videos will end up being sidelined sooner or later.

Source: MIT Technology Review | Comments (44)

Tags: YouTube, Conspiracies

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #35 Posted by Robotic Jew on 5 March, 2020, 12:24
Yeah. I'm in the epicenter of deplorable country.†
Comment icon #36 Posted by RoofGardener on 5 March, 2020, 12:28
Deplorables huh ? So.... you.. like... live in a basket, I assume ? †
Comment icon #37 Posted by GlitterRose on 7 March, 2020, 17:25
It would have been nice if the internet would have helped people get smarter.† It just seems like it has been an avenue for spreading disinfo and discord more than anything else.†
Comment icon #38 Posted by jaylemurph on 8 March, 2020, 3:04
A poor workman blames his tools... óJaylemurph†
Comment icon #39 Posted by and then on 8 March, 2020, 23:16
I agree, but the advertisers are pressuring the sites to block or impede anyone who uses them.† I just bail and look for the topic elsewhere.
Comment icon #40 Posted by On3Truly on 10 March, 2020, 3:44
In and of itself, the internet is neutral. It's a huge database with more than a billion websites. It wasn't intended to teach people. You have to seek the knowledge, use critical thinking and find good sources. Unfortunately, many people are actually lacking those basic skills.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Aaron2016 on 10 March, 2020, 23:20
Imagine in a few years when Google shares take a hit and YouTube is axed because of the mounting lawsuits and copyright complaints. † Nothing in this world lasts forever. † † † †
Comment icon #42 Posted by Emma_Acid on 19 March, 2020, 14:41
YouTube can show whatever they and their shareholders want. People don't seem to really understand what "censorship" and "freedom of speech" really mean. They are not about YouTube, Twitter or Facebook content.
Comment icon #43 Posted by aztek on 19 March, 2020, 15:03
absolutely, and posts in this very thread is living proof ot it
Comment icon #44 Posted by Great Old Man on 20 March, 2020, 8:28
† Ah... there is no literal meaning of "Media Freedom"† † They want to chain and suppress conspiracist like me!

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