Study Shows YouTube Doesn't Make People More Extreme

A lot of Americans (1 in every 4 to be exact) watch news on YouTube. Some people think YouTube makes young Americans believe more extreme things by showing them more and more extreme videos. But a new study from the University of Pennsylvania says that's not true. It says what people choose to watch is more important than what YouTube suggests.

Researchers made bots that acted like YouTube users to see how the site's suggestions affected what they watched. They used information from real YouTube users to train these bots. Then, they let the bots watch videos to see if they ended up watching more extreme content.

The study had two parts. In the first part, some bots watched videos just like the real users did. Other bots only watched videos YouTube suggested, without following the users' usual choices. They found that bots watching suggested videos didn't watch as much extreme content. This was even more true for bots set up to watch a lot of extreme content. This means that YouTube's suggestions might actually make viewers' choices less extreme, not more.

The researchers say this shows people watch extreme content because they want to, not because YouTube is pushing them to. This study helps understand how YouTube's recommendations work and how they affect what people watch.

Research reveals YouTube recommendations may not drive viewers to extreme content as previously thought.
Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

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