Does YouTube Pull Users Away From News And Attract Them To Entertainment? The Answer Might Shock You

Today’s day and age has social media apps nudging users toward recommendations on the algorithm that are far from news.

It’s clear from studies that people are not particularly fond of seeing what’s happening in the world of current affairs and even if they are, they are less inclined to explore this front.

The shift from the world of news is a mighty change and when we look at Meta’s algorithms, there’s zero room for that content anymore. But what about YouTube?

The app is a case worth mentioning. It’s one of the most important apps for news consumption around the globe. And around 20% of all adults make use of it regularly as per one recent research.

The app’s algorithm is continuously shown to display a huge number of extremist and conspiracy-related videos. However, there is little indication of how the algorithm could steer it away from the topic in general.

The latest study on this front had people mentioning how the algorithm might redirect users through filter bubbles based on topics. So you keep on watching entertaining content and would therefore be drawn toward more entertaining content. Secondly, a technique called algorithmic redirection is designed to enable the complete opposite and therefore roll out recommendations that are awfully different from what is being shown.

The fact that the algorithm is intentionally getting redirected on this front so people encounter less news is certainly worrisome. And experts are revealing their findings on how they think YouTube functions to rid news away from the app.

Topical filters and algorithm redirection are giving way to a new type of genre where you might be seeing news but with time, you’re going to be seeing more entertainment-based content that pops up in the form of recommendations that keep on bombarding the user, and unless they see the content.

You’ll be amazed to learn how often experts encounter entertainment videos online. On an average basis, it was three times as likely than a typical news video. So no matter what sort of content you watch at the start, you’re bound to end up with anything but news.

And to answer your question, the app does indeed nudge users away from news on the platform.

Obviously, users don’t have to give into the recommendations that are thrown in their direction. They have full authority to watch whatever their heart desires and even search for news directly. But to have the app play this mega role in deterring viewers from watching the news is an interesting point worth mentioning.

The complete picture will not be encouraging when you account for the long list of human factors. We can admit as per this research that the app is biased in regard to entertainment content as it’s designed to facilitate more engagement which means more revenue for the company.

While this study has yet to directly address issues like the economic benefits that such biased behavior brings, it is definitely an interesting point worth pondering over.

Before we go, it’s important to realize that people are not interested in news generally when they tune into social media. Still, having top app algorithms display such biased behavior against the likes of news is a major eye-opener. Do you agree?

Image: DIW-Aigen

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