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YouTube's war on conspiracy videos continues

Posted on Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 | Comment icon 134 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 (134)

Tags: YouTube, Conspiracies

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #125 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 28 July, 2020, 23:57
If you are refering to and then he is a rightwing conservative christian who urges an armed revolution against "the left" and seems to think that the most impostant part of the bible is Revelation. Basically he prefers the worst parts of the bible.
Comment icon #126 Posted by jaylemurph on 29 July, 2020, 0:36
Yeah, because “espousing violence” and “following the commands of Jesus” fit hand in glove. Whatever he says, he’s not christian.  —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #127 Posted by Emma_Acid on 30 July, 2020, 15:11
I notice you don't seem to be lumping the likes of Murdoch in with Zuckerberg and Dorsey. I wonder why. Like I've said before - the Right in the States, UK and Russia actually do own the majority of broadcast and print news outlets. And yet its only when more liberal voices get a platform do you see it as an issue. I'll say it again: if the Right want a platform for their speech, unmolested by liberals, they can go and establish their own. Twitter and Facebook should not be under state control in terms of the content they're required to allow.
Comment icon #128 Posted by Emma_Acid on 30 July, 2020, 15:20
Excuses. If I was a shareholder of a social media platform, I would not want it to promote hate speech, whatever part of the political spectrum it's from. If you consider that to be "suppressing things I'm fearful of", then sure, whatever. But you can't be calling me naive and then assuming that if the founders and majority shareholders of Twitter were on the far right that liberal speech would be respected and left alone. History doesn't bear that one out mate.
Comment icon #129 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 30 July, 2020, 15:34
What are you talking about. Didn't you know that right wing leaders like Putin, Orban and Erdogan are big fans of free speech ? 
Comment icon #130 Posted by godnodog on 1 August, 2020, 14:54
for me this is a bad thing, I like to take naps while listening to this kind of videos.
Comment icon #131 Posted by Obviousman on 1 August, 2020, 23:16
Try some Vivaldi, Mike Oldfield, Tommy Emmanuel, or Kraftwerk. Always worked for me.
Comment icon #132 Posted by OpenMindedSceptic on 2 August, 2020, 9:02
All the people here on this site saying it's good that YouTube are limiting conspiracy videos. Why are you here? This is Unexplained Mysteries, the sort of place people open to theories should hang out.  The pure science contributors asking for proof in a way that they determine is the only way to prove something, well go and join a science bases conversation group would be my suggestion. And then let the conspiracy theories flow here and on YouTube.
Comment icon #133 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 2 August, 2020, 15:57
YouTube aren't limiting conspiracy videos, they are limiting recommendations. Not the same thing. To show that sometimes the "unexplained" mysteries actually have explanations. We have a lot of people here who are open to various conspiracy theories.  So what you really want is a place where no one challenges outlandish ideas. Us sceptics are told to back up our claims all the time, but for some reason the conspiracy believers don't feel the need to bring the same standards of evidence.  In many cases the conspiracy theories presented are proven to be hoaxes. Don't you agree that its good to c... [More]
Comment icon #134 Posted by godnodog on 2 August, 2020, 22:33
has to be people talking, sounds like music or audio special effects tke me out of the zone

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