YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Faces Heavy Criticism

Social media has brought a lot of changes to the world, and YouTube has been a big part of most if not all of these changes in a pretty big way all in all. However, not all of these changes have been for the better, as we have seen social media being used to spread a lot of messages which are false, hateful or otherwise harmful to society because of the fact that they can cause people to commit actions that are not in anyone’s best interests whatsoever.

YouTube in particular has come under fire for its recommendation algorithm which, although it is purported to be politically neutral and the algorithm was certainly created with this kind of attention, tends to push videos that contain hoaxes, self-harm, conspiracy theories and all other kinds of misinformation that YouTube users will end up consuming and believing to be real.

We have already seen how the spread of misinformation on social media can lead to problems, with anti vaccination advocates in particular using social media as a platform to spread their rhetoric which has actually lead to the return of several diseases that would have been eradicated long ago if so many people had not stopped vaccinating their children based on misinformation they obtained through social media.

YouTube’s recommendation engine promoting hoaxes and conspiracy theories has also had a pretty significant impact on the world. Jair Bolsonaro, the current president of Brazil and a hard right wing politician, managed to find a platform through YouTube because of the fact that this video streaming network promoted his fake news and conspiracy theories, and this lead to him getting elected as the president of Brazil which is something that is having a major impact on global politics.


Right wing leaders all across the world are using YouTube in this manner, so it is high time that the platform addresses this issue and creates an algorithm that is truly neutral.

"We know our systems are far from perfect, so we’re constantly making improvements.", explained YouTube team in a tweet.


Photo: Getty

Read next: YouTube Experiments With Enlarged Thumbnails and Social Media Users Call It “Garbage”

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