YouTube Now Suggest Lesser Conspiracy Videos than Before: Study

The recommendation engine of YouTube is one of the major sources of increasing views and watch time with its suggested content. The algorithm of platform identifies and recommends which content will be suitable for certain users but the conspiracy content also had been taking its place in between.

Back in 2019, after a much backlash from the public, the video-platform assured to limit the conspiracy videos being shown to users. According to a new study by the University of California, Berkeley, the efforts of YouTube worked as a 40 percent decrease in suggesting conspiracy videos were noticed on the platform.

Hundreds of conspiracy and non-conspiracy videos were analyzed to train the system to differentiate between them. After the completion of training, around eight million recommended videos were analyzed by the system in one year.

The system analyzed videos by using the transcript, title, description, and tags of videos and also by analyzing the top 200 comments by considering the intent of those comments, instead of watching the video. After studying these elements, the system would further classify videos whether it includes conspiracy or not.

It has been noticed that YouTube has not suppressed all conspiracy videos, instead only certain subjects have been targeted. Like the rate of conspiracy videos about climate change has not changed but a visible decrease in Sandy Hook videos has been seen.

One of the main reasons behind this discrimination could be the employees discussing how suppressing the conspiracy videos might effect. Letting the non-harmful conspiracy videos be part of the suggestions section could be enjoyable as many conspiracy theories by MKUltra and Project Sunshine proved to be true.

YouTube is increasingly becoming more popular, especially when it comes to long video content, having a monopoly with over two billion active users monthly, it also holds great responsibility as well. Bad actors over the internet will more preferably use the platform to spread misinformation and use it for social engineering to spread their conspiracy, which needs to be dealt intelligently.



Photo: Sascha Steinbach / Epa-efe/ Rex / Shutterstock

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