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November 11th, 2018, 14:04
Hello,

I've just read an article in the online version of my local newspaper which makes me think.

It's about the search function of YoUTube making people becoming more and more radical - by presenting more and more extremes.

The German-language article can be found here . https://www.ksta.de/ratgeber/digital…siert-31458582

The original, English-language article can be found here : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/o…s-radical.html

Quote from there :

Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons.

It seems as if you are never “hard core” enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes. Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.

This is not because a cabal of YouTube engineers is plotting to drive the world off a cliff. A more likely explanation has to do with the nexus of artificial intelligence and Google’s business model. (YouTube is owned by Google.) For all its lofty rhetoric, Google is an advertising broker, selling our attention to companies that will pay for it. The longer people stay on YouTube, the more money Google makes.
This makes me think YouTube can be - and already is - used for political propaganda. You see a video - and get even more extreme ones. People learn from that, and learn how to exploit that. Brazil appears to be the newest example for that.

There is one linked article which makes me become even ore worried : It appears to be an investigation by The Wall Street Journal - on exactly this phenomenon of YouTubeRadicalization :

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-you…ers-1518020478

Mr. Chaslot worked on the recommender algorithm while at YouTube. He grew alarmed at the tactics used to increase the time people spent on the site. Google fired him in 2013, citing his job performance. He maintains the real reason was that he pushed too hard for changes in how the company handles such issues.

The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation of YouTube content with the help of Mr. Chaslot. It found that YouTube often “fed far-right or far-left videos to users who watched relatively mainstream news sources,” and that such extremist tendencies were evident with a wide variety of material. If you searched for information on the flu vaccine, you were recommended anti-vaccination conspiracy videos.

It is also possible that YouTube’s recommender algorithm has a bias toward inflammatory content.

What we are witnessing is the computational exploitation of a natural human desire: to look “behind the curtain,” to dig deeper into something that engages us. As we click and click, we are carried along by the exciting sensation of uncovering more secrets and deeper truths. YouTube leads viewers down a rabbit hole of extremism, while Google racks up the ad sales.

This situation is especially dangerous given how many people — especially young people — turn to YouTube for information. Google’s cheap and sturdy Chromebook laptops, which now make up more than 50 percent of the pre-college laptop education market in the United States, typically come loaded with ready access to YouTube.
This is worrying. This is the so far best example I can find that mass media is "nudging" us into directions we do not want.

Now, we are not controlled, we are driven. By our own built-in functions, exploited by programmers in media companies - and exploited by those who want to exploit us.

Alrik
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November 11th, 2018, 14:43
I can see the danger.
I know many young people get their news from social media (though they watch it with a critical eye, according to some research I read somewhere). If they have any interest it is involving the weather, local news or disasters.
But l know that when I was younger there were not many that were interested in buying a newspaper or even watching the news either. The thing I’d like to know is whether most people of say 30+ still change their habits.

Personally I use YouTube only for some music videos or when I want to learn how to do specific (practical) things, or when I’d like to see a sample of a performer, a show, or a movie. News: never. I am mistrustful when it comes to YouTube: who is the source (who posted and edited it). Also, I lack the patience to watch the stuff from beginning to end. At least with an article I can skip the less interesting or already known parts.
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November 11th, 2018, 15:22
Being exposed to more and more extreme views do not lead to be extreme.

Example: the fitness game that goes on YT.

People who watch fitness videos do not exercize forcefully. People may live through proxies: the vision of someone exercizing is enough for them.

A guy who squats 200kg will not squat 300kg because he watches.

YT is distraction. It offers a cheap way to get your brain stimulated in a variety of ways (such preventing the adaptation to stimuli to kick in)
The increase in degree is another way to postpone the adaptation thing.

Once the brain is adapted, it leads to look for stimulation elsewhere.

YT is a platform that tries to keep people captive. The progression in intensity is one way. It does not fit any topic: cooking is not a proper ground for example.
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November 11th, 2018, 15:24
I've used You Tube to find concerts and such, sometimes I've even found small shows from venues in the eighties and nineties that I never even knew existed, but that's about all. Just reading a few of the comments from some of the concerts I've watched was enough to keep me from using it more often.
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November 11th, 2018, 15:34
I thought that was actually more prevalent in social medias like Facebook where what you may look or read once or two may be reinforced ad nauseam because FB would narrow what it presents to you to similar content afterwards.
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November 11th, 2018, 15:41
Originally Posted by ChatMiauleur View Post
I thought that was actually more prevalent in social medias like Facebook where what you may look or read once or two may be reinforced ad nauseam because FB would narrow what it presents to you to similar content afterwards.
It's similar on YouTube. You get recommendations based on your previously watched videos and in the end you get flooded by one type of videos or videos on the same topic.
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November 11th, 2018, 15:46
Originally Posted by Ivanwah View Post
It's similar on YouTube. You get recommendations based on your previously watched videos and in the end you get flooded by one type of videos or videos on the same topic.
Yep it's called the Google Search Algorithm it matches videos based on what you watch. One problem with it is the content might not be what you want to watch. It's frustrating.

It's the same problem with with the ad algorithm.
Originally Posted by Eye View Post
The thing I’d like to know is whether most people of say 30+ still change their habits.
Well short answer is I watch more videos then I read nowadays.

Don't get me wrong I still read articles online, but I prefer videos.

Especially since most journalist think and write the same nowadays.
Many games journalists hold the same exact perspectives. They share the same political and social views almost to a tee, and it paints their outlook on virtually everything else, causing a backlash among major portions of their audiences, audiences increasingly demanding apolitical, uncritical coverage to compensate. But such a reaction is equally extreme. Instead of blowing everything up, we should demand a fairer, more balanced approach to coverage, articles and podcasts and videos that elevate different voices, instead of demonizing them and shoving them to the margins. I have no interest in silencing the current crop of games writers. I just want to hear something different, too. God forbid.
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November 11th, 2018, 16:17
For all I remember:
- you can turn off youtube recommendations
- you can ignore youtube recommendations
- normal person doesn't enter a candystore and buys all the candy of which plenty is rotten
- psychos existed long before youtube
- youtube does not collect&sell your privacy data to 3rd parties

IMO of course: Youtube is not the problem.
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November 14th, 2018, 07:23
Yeah, I think it is, though they aren't trying to be.

YouTube is trying to feed you videos that you want to see. If you watch a cat video then, hey, here's a dozen more! And, if you watch all dozen of them, it remembers and throws cat videos at you from time to time for months.

People with wild, crazy ideas are more entertaining. "New Thing Could Bring Disaster!" is going to get watched a lot more than "New Thing Won't Matter Much" so YouTube is going to think that you're more likely to want to see the first one.

Put the two together and you're watching crazier, more entertaining cat videos and YouTube earns its advertising dollars.

Put the two together after watching a few perfectly sensible political videos*, though, will get you more political videos of the same ilk, particularly the popular ones, which also are the more radical ones. Watching those brings up even more and off you go on a tour of the radical fringe. Some people will find one that "clicks" for them and you've got yourself a new radical.

(* OK, so there may be no such thing as a perfectly sensible political video. Kinda sensible. Ish.)
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July 22nd, 2021, 21:04
If I understand this article https://www.tagesschau.de/investigat…egram-103.html right, then there have been made studies to try to reconstruct how people became radical members of the so-called "Querdenker" scene.
Apparingly the reconstruction was successful - or so I understand this article - and indeed proves that youtube makes people become radical by the way videos are placed within youtube.
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July 22nd, 2021, 21:28
I'm glad that now, since early school, kids learn to be critical about the information they get and how to put it in perspective depending where they get it.

But still, the way the search tools and other sites like Youtube keep us in our comfort zone to make them use longer, possibly nudging us insidiously into some programmed ideas, makes me uncomfortable. Even knowing the risks, it's too easy to let one's guard down. Or at least on so many individuals using those tools, some will.
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July 22nd, 2021, 22:08
Wow, almost 3 year thread necro. Not really against that per se, but it's notable. Hmmm, I'll go off on a tangent. Amazon's lovely Kindle Unlimited has a nice library of litrpgs, but I don't care for harem novels. Therefore I search for litrpg -harem to parse those out. Evidently, the minus flag does nothing in Amazon's engine because I get more harem recommendations than any other book. I like RoyalRoad's search engine much better. I can add a dozen filters to keep out the crap I don't want in my search results. Too bad not every book from KU is in RR
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July 24th, 2021, 00:39
Just one obvious comment. YouTube does nothing. The people who set requirements, design, etc., are responsible. Most recommender ‘engines’ behave like this, even our internal ones. Yes, I agree it isn't lovely, but it sells ads.
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July 24th, 2021, 00:50
Yeah, probably the best bet is to train to the kiddies better in critically assessing sources.

I have a certain amount of natural immunity, since I find almost all political breadtubers half-baked and obnoxious, and very easy to resist.
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July 28th, 2021, 15:42
People who become "radical" usually don't do so because they're super happy about their lives and their position on this planet.

Meaning, if we want to do something serious about it - we should probably look to the primary sources of unhappiness or dissatisfaction on this planet.

My own personal suggestion is to deal with the absurd resource disparity between human beings first - and, secondly, to deal with how we all share in the deeply destructive tendency to judge each other with little to no insight as a foundation - as well as a profound lack of the ability to love each other.

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