Mozilla Is Starting Up Its RegretsReporter Extension, Hoping To Analyze How YouTube's Algorithm Filters Recommendations For Users

Mozilla is looking into YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, attempting to gauge whether or not it actually takes user input into account. The tech company’s also looking for some help in this endeavor of its – and you can help!

The YouTube algorithm has always been a source for both inspiration as well as derision from the community. While it often recommends gems in the form of the most random short videos that our current generation of netizens have come to love, it’s Home and Trending pages are often chock full of the most well performing content. Which, while not being an inherently bad thing, is often irrelevant to many users since said content is only ever so popular because 5 years old keep pressing the replay button on the cartoonish seizures and overblown clickbait thumbnails that we all know and hate. YouTube has offered up a solution to its community: users can now tag videos as being uninteresting to them, citing their own reasons for why that is. The platform states that such videos will no longer show up in their feed. Does it follow through on this, however?

That is a question Mozilla intends on answering. We already know the company from their famous Firefox browser, and it’s gearing up to do more for the internet community. The non-profit is readying its RegretsReporter tool, and is going to try and examine unwanted YouTube recommendations. More specifically, it’s also going to try and assess whether or not these recommendations ever truly go away. I mean, Google Ads keeps promising to not display the same content every time we state that ads are irrelevant or covering up the webpage, and yet we still keep running into them. Maybe YouTube’s taken a leaf out of its sister company’s page, and decided to do the same with YouTube recs, offering up the ability to tag unwanted videos as a form of pacification for users.

Mozilla’s ready to go and get work started, but it has also taken to the internet with one request: that others join them in this quest. Users can download the RegretsReporter extension, push a “stop recommending” button when they do the same for a YouTube video, and then use this feedback to determine whether or not those videos start making the rounds for those users again. As it is, YouTube is refusing to give such relevant data to independent researchers (i.e. any organization that isn’t government-related), making the job a bit harder to do without user support. However, with the community pitching in, RegretsReporter could really put YouTube on blast and make recommendations so much more relevant for everyone else.

Read next: YouTube Has Assemble A List Of The Top Performing Content Across The Board In 2021, Detailing A Look Back At How The Year Went
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