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YouTube, the Great Radicalizer ( 211

Zeynep Tufekci, writing for the New York Times: Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with. 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. What keeps people glued to YouTube? Its algorithm seems to have concluded that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with -- or to incendiary content in general. Is this suspicion correct? Good data is hard to come by; Google is loath to share information with independent researchers. But we now have the first inklings of confirmation, thanks in part to a former Google engineer named Guillaume Chaslot. 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.

YouTube, the Great Radicalizer

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  • Running is a pretty narrow topic, of course marathons is going to come up in relation. Algorithms are good at only finding similar things which I actually hate. Have you ever shopped for something only to have google spam you with ads for weeks on end for the actual thing you bought for weeks after you've already bought it. Human editors can be better at least they can have different topics, it seemed until recently where an entire news station or website decides to take a narrow focus and cater to single a
    • by Krishnoid ( 984597 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @03:10AM (#56245571) Journal

      Have you ever shopped for something only to have google spam you with ads for weeks on end for the actual thing you bought for weeks after you've already bought it.

      Considering how often this happens, it would be helpful if the AdSenseWords feedback form had an option, "I already bought this item and am not currently shopping for another one."

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The content creators also escalate things themselves. In a sea of videos about running if you want to be noticed the easiest way is to do an extreme ultra-marathon with a thumbnail of yourself being carried away on a stretcher.

      TV news is the same, printed news is the same.

      Also, conspiracy theories about secret government organizations and 9/11 are "leftish" now? Seems like the article author has some bullshit to peddle.

    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gma i l .com> on Monday March 12, 2018 @05:49AM (#56245783) Journal

      What pisses me off with those retarded algorithms is that they ignore the obvious in favor for always being a day late and a dollar short!

      Hey guys if I haven't looked at anything other than a BATTERY for a particular laptop? Odds are really good I'm not looking for a new laptop or I wouldn't be looking to replace the battery, would I? Likewise if I'm watching vids on CPUs or a particular game? Maybe, just maybe, you should show me ads for the products I'm actually watching videos on instead of continuing to show me ads for something I looked for a PART FOR weeks ago?

      The really sad part? When they actually used "dumb ads" where they just based the ads on what you were actually watching? I actually bought products because they showed me deals on things I actually cared about, now I honestly cannot remember the last time they got a sale because they never seem to get WTF I'm actually trying to get, like showing me new cars when I'm looking for spark plugs or trying to sell me a POS laptop when I'm looking at games that would never run on said POS laptop they just don't seem to have a damned clue WTH they are doing when it comes to ads anymore.

    • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @06:35AM (#56245903) Homepage

      It's hardly new to the internet :

      it's been discussed for quite some time that TV channels, specially their News, tend to over-dramatize news and cast dramatic negative light on the world.
      Basically, when creating emotion in viewer, their attention increases.
      This works even more with negative emotions (fear, etc.).
      This attracts more eyeballs to your channels,
      giving you more opportunity to sell these attentive eyeballs to advertisers and thus increase your revenue stream.
      In Europe, this is more prominent on private channels (mostly paid by ads) than on public channels (partially paid by taxes).

      The thing is that, in practice, it has been proven to have an actual effect :
      in Europe, watching TV and watching news even more so, has been linked to causing an increased feel of "insecurity, danger, etc."
      This is despite the situation in Europe being much better and safer than before.
      Criminality rate is globally decreasing, but TV reporting thereof is on the rise.

      The neural-network AI used by youtube to process recommendation has simply rediscovered on its own the same results as what was already found on TV :
      increase the emotional response of viewer by showing more extreme videos, you attract their attention and thus can sell more ads.

      The AI doesn't even really have an actual concept of "emotional response" and "increased attention". The AI only notices that after recommending some video, revenue increase.
      If video B is shown after video A : more retention, increased ads revenu. If then video C is shown after video B : again more.
      AI the remembers to use the chain A -> B -> C, because that's what increases the parameter it is optimising for : eyeball time sellable to advertisers.
      But because of what we know from what was studied on old school TV, that will eventually mean showing more and more extreme videos, because that's what has been proven to work on human brains. This AI has simply "independently rediscovered this fact".


      For shit and giggles, let's gice a source that's on Youtube itself [] (and even parodies the usual style of conspiratorial videos). Sorry it's in French, but it has English CC.

    • Every now and then they will advertise something to you that is seemingly unrelated, even though there's an obscure connection. I was looking for game/spy cams and tracking devices at work to catch a copper thief. I guess Amazon/Google got the wrong idea and started showing my wife ads for divorce lawyers. She called, and was like, "uh... is there something I should know about??"
  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @03:01AM (#56245557)

    For any given video, it will recommend a range of other similar videos which by definition must be a bit more radical or a bit less radical. If you keep clicking the more radical ones, of course you will slowly gravitate up the radical tree. How could it be otherwise? I don't consider it radicalising, it's just providing information. For this topic, this is how radical you can go, this is how far you can take it. Anyone interested in a topic enough to keep watching videos is sooner or later going to want to know, how far can I take this? And YouTube has the answer for you.

    • Spot on.
      I used to watch 911 videos (not many ... they are all the same) some years ago, and of course more came up as recommended.
      As I now mostly watch music videos (and nerdy guitar videos like Guitar Of The Day), I get recommended (you guessed it...) more guitar videos and music videos.
      And for some reason I get recommended Samantha Fish videos. Ah, that may be because I have watched several videos with her. So now I am becoming a radicalized Samatha Fish ...something.
    • This was more or less what I was going to write...

      It's less that "the algorithm" has figured out that radical content is what glues people to the screen in the most effective way when it's literal job is to recommend content that's as interesting and engaging as possible for each given user. The proper contents of the video are completely beyond it's understanding, all it sees are the topics in the tags, how long people view the video, how many of them do, along with the likes and dislikes. If you're int
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        People are drawn to the radical content, not because they want to believe but just for fun. What is really fucking annoying with YouTube look at a couple just for a lark and YouTube starts feeding you nothing but, really fucking annoying. Just like most people, you look at those crazy stories just for a lark, most of the corporate main stream media is just boring bullshit corporate propaganda, they keep repeating the same shit over and over again, finally giving up and starting on the next round of bullshit

        • Those that believe already have a screw less and believing crazy stories is a part of their existing condition and will not make them worse, just send them down that particular rabbit hole ie Russia, Russia, Russia or another rabbit hole ie identity politics and self identifying yourself as what ever flips into your head be it a 200 year old female traffic light or a 6 month old male teapot cosy and hacking away at you genitals is a great idea.

          Can't tell if this is parody, or a cry for help.

    • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @03:52AM (#56245615) Homepage

      The thing is, it doesn't need to take you to more extreme content in order to give you more info. The "autoplay" after a conspiracy theory video could just as easily be another video debunking it.

      However, the algorithm has determined that people are more interested in (in other words, more likely to watch) something more extreme than what you've just watch.

      The intent isn't nefarious, but the overall effect is that you emerge knowing less about the topic than when you started.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The algorithm isn't nearly clever enough to recognize the content of a conspiracy theory and a matching debunking video. Instead it goes off things like what videos are linked to (back/forward links), what people who liked/disliked it also enjoy, channels that it thinks are associated with that one somehow...

        The only solutions seem to be really strong AI or human intervention.

        • True. I'm not suggesting that the solution would be easy. Just that the problem is legit.

          Keep in mind, though, that the building blocks for such an algorithm are there. YouTube does automatic closed-captioning, for example, so they could easily do deeper analysis of the video transcript.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        A lot of proposed video's are what the person who put up the videos himself puts in. Because of that I often see many proposed video's that are from the person who made the video, even if I already saw them and am subscribed to his or her channel.

        I get more and more the same few hundred video's to watch and it has become a challenge to find new content makers I am interested in. I almost always go to the "Show more" option, because it is very likely I have seen the rest already or they are absolute clickbai

    • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @03:54AM (#56245625)

      The same thing happens with RedTube.

    • At least the overtones window is widening. Free speech is a good thing. The more people can participate, the better.
    • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @06:47AM (#56245939) Homepage

      For any given video, it will recommend a range of other similar videos which by definition must be a bit more radical or a bit less radical. If you keep clicking the more radical ones, of course you will slowly gravitate up the radical tree. How could it be otherwise?

      It goes a tiny bit further :
        - it's been already studied and proven (on oldschool TV) that more extreme content (specially more frightening) increases viewer engagement.
        - and engaged viewers will bring more revenue by selling their eyeballs to advertisers.
        - (this happens even more on private channels than on public TV).
        - thus TV channels, specially news casts, tend to gravitate toward more

      The AI neural net behind Youtube recommendation just simply "independently rediscover" what's been studied regarding old school TV.
      (while being probably even less aware of it : during A/B tests the algorithm only notice that video on list A tend to increase viewer retention compared to list B and thus maximize ads exposition and revenu stream. it just happens that the videos on this list A are the most extreme due to what we already know of human psychology and past TV studies. The algorithm will eventually automatically build a chain of recommendation of increasing extremeness, because that's what works better for the result it tries to maximise)

      The sad thing is that this has been also proven to increase the feeling of insecure.

      So, yes, initially the youtube algorithm will show up a variety of similarily themed video recommendations, some of which "must be a bit more radical or a bit less radical". But eventually some of these recommendation will prove more popular and youtube will learn to show them more. Due to how human psyche works, those more successful videos *will be* a little bit more frequently the more radical ones. And thus youtube learns to show the radical more a bit more often (without even having the notion of what "radical" is, only that they are successful). And again, sadly due to how human psyche works, it will have a negative impact on viewers.

    • What I find hilarious are the stupid videos that only have a million views because the thumbnail has a chick in a bikini. But the rest of the video is something completely unrelated and dumb. Men really are predictable.
  • "Sex sells! Blood Leads!!!!!"

    Uh... google?

    • FTFS:

      The longer people stay on YouTube, the more money Google makes.

      So it makes the most sense for YouTube to activate the addiction receptors in viewers brains. I'm guessing that YouTube employs neurologists specializing in addiction disorders to tweak the algorithm.

      And we all thought Big Tobacco was bad, for trying to produce an even more addictive product.

  • by Robin Bermanseder ( 4925885 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @03:33AM (#56245603)
    I believe this is the result of the goals used to develop this AI. The evolution of an early neural network is value free - what works wins. The goals set by a commercial organisation will orient the growth towards profit, using the power of clickbait. The videos that are most engaging/radical to YOU will be recommended to YOU. What incentive is there to grow the brain for social good (whatever that means)? Should society impose such guidance? This is a big problem and key to the long term impact of AI. It is the same problem that we have grappled with for millennia, and may bring with it the same painful lessons of war and politics. We play god.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      YouTube uses some interesting metrics to measure engagement. It looks at how long each viewer watched the video, what proportion of it they watched (so as not to favour longer videos), if they clicked on any embedded links, if they re-watched any parts etc.

      The problem is that it is really easy to game. Channels that have a lot of followers can get them all to play the video in the background over and over, and the ones that are politically motivated will treat it as their job.

    • See this video on the topic from 43c3 - you nailed it, and so did he. []
  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @03:53AM (#56245617)

    Much like any other social networks on the Internet, it all depends on how you use the platform.
    I personally have a fixed number of subscribed channel that I watch everyday. The recommendations I get from YouTube usually goes around the themes of channels I'm already subscribed to.
    So, there's a bunch of science, tech, and currently trip to Japan channels on the recommendation list. Nothing radical or extreme at all.
    But of course, if you already watch and follow a bunch of videos and channels that are always about sensitive or hot button topics, the algorithm will suggest popular videos with similar themes, which will eventually end up in radicalized content. It's only logical that it'd end up that way, since it'll always try to show you popular videos.
    On the trending list there's always a bunch of shit recommendations that are mostly sensationalistic in nature, but I won't ever touch that crap with a 10 foot pole, so no harm done.

    But you gotta see that this isn't unique to YouTube. Facebook and Twitter do the same crap. Facebook has suggested pages, people and posts, their annoying suggested news feed order that always put the crap on top, plus a bunch of other stuff that always suggest crap to you if you don't take good care of the content you keep on the news feed.
    Twitter has the cancerous trending crap, plus that Moments page that is always littered with garbage. Perhaps neither are as radicalizing as YouTube, but it probably depends on how you use those platforms.

    The problem in all of those is not how the platforms itself works... it's the people. The users. The ignorant masses that are always posting and then feeding, watching all this crap. It's a popularity contest, and popular shit often times is the worst.

  • by kwikrick ( 755625 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @04:04AM (#56245637) Homepage Journal

    YouTube basically just recommends those videos that other people watched frequently (and probably some more statistics like how long they watched it, whether they commented on it, what other videos they watched, etc.). And of course, what video's you watched yourself. The YouTube algorithm simply gave this journalist what he was apparently looking for - the same as most people on the internet. Don't blame YouTube for people's lust for the extreme, crazy, stupid.

  • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @04:29AM (#56245667) Homepage Journal

    Certainly matches my own experiences on YouTube, though I think it's not purely the EVIL of the google that's driving it. I'm convinced that there are also trolls who are loving the chaos and who are strategically promoting their videos to be linked from opposition videos. Less annoying but similar to the original article are extremists who are also involved in strategic promotion of their videos to viewers of other videos that they regard as sympathetic.

    However, as gawdawful as the EVIL google and the most EVIL YouTube have become, I'm convinced that Facebook and Twitter are worse. Much worse.

    And yet all of these problems could be greatly reduced by the use of EPR (Earned Public Reputation) to gently filter in favor of nice folks. The trolls and other villains can be nudged back under invisible rocks to amuse themselves and the play with the few people who enjoy that form of slumming. I have much better uses for my time.

    • it's not purely the EVIL of the google that's driving it.

      Citation required

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        Many of my posts discuss the problems of corporate cancerism. Feel free to look them over.

        Do you perhaps have any evidence that the google is not a cancer?

    • "And yet all of these problems could be greatly reduced by the use of EPR (Earned Public Reputation) to gently filter in favor of nice folks. The trolls and other villains can be nudged back under invisible rocks to amuse themselves and the play with the few people who enjoy that form of slumming "

      Boo! Poor quality post, 1 star. Better be nice to me or ill one star you again! []

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        If that was a bid for a funny mod, you didn't deserve any, and so far you haven't gotten any. That anecdote does not prove the Slashdot moderation system is working well.

        However, in EPR terms, I think it might deserve negative votes on the "polite" or "thoughtful" dimensions.

    • That's a great idea. Rather than having people who agree with you always show up, just see nice people who may have a different viewpoint. That's sort of like the Interesting mod on Slashdot. I use it to signify: I don't agree with you, but you bring up a good point.

      If Google is curating thought, why don't they use that power for good? Oh wait... I forgot, their only interest is getting more eyeballs to look at ads. Never mind.

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        That's very close to the heart of the problem, and I wish I had an insightful mod point for you (even though that's a fuzzy and almost meaningless dimension). I have actually read that the google's secret reputation vector for each identity has around 700 dimensions. To a certain degree, I think that EPR is a kind of return sharing of the information that the google (including YouTube) is already collecting about each of us, but I think it should be limited to the intentionally public information. In other

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Unfortunately the politicians (especially the Bolshevik Republicans) feel differently. Extremely differently. In accord with their bribes, they write the laws to permit the soulless and inhuman corporations to own OUR privacy. Minor and limited exceptions if you can afford enough lawyers.

          That ah, should be democrats. They're the big money takers from Google, Facebook, Twitter, various "technology" groups that are pushing that allowance of corporations to own your privacy. Maybe you should spend a bit of time looking at who's donating to who? Spend a few hours reading [] for example.

  • Human curiosity draws us to new and exciting things. I'm not sure how driving a tricycle would interest anyone who already drives a grown-up bike on a daily basis.

    This all seems kinda logical. If you're interested in topics outside of mainstream political view, there is no other choice than show you conspiracy theories... because every theory outside of mainstream has the potential to be a conspiracy theory until it's proven. I would go as far as to say that it is a pretty good guess that you'll find a cons

  • by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @05:05AM (#56245723)

    It doesn't matter if you started off with an innocuous video or an extreme one, the suggested videos will lead to the same place eventually. YouTube's algorithm places popular videos in a genre high up in the recommended videos results. Likely because a crowd attracts a crowd. More extreme videos are always more popular by numbers, because clickbait.

    This is a side effect of crowdsourcing their ratings by going on views, and perhaps secondarily how many people 'liked' or 'disliked' a certain video.

    In any given genre (books, TV, movies, YouTube) the most popular item by numbers is the item that has the broadest appeal. The one with the broadest appeal is usually on the lower end of the intelligence scale. As with cinema, intelligent, artful pieces are typically relegated to small audiences, with the occasional oscar-bait breakout.

    So if you put together a system whereby the most popular videos are suggested first, the feedback loop described in the article will happen. The only way out of that is to hand curate the algorithm. And that's the very thing that NO large scale tech company wants to do. The moment they stop automating everything possible is the moment scaling becomes expensive, and they no longer reap their huge margins - a license to print money as long as they can keep it going.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Google already does adjust its algorithms on other platforms like search. For example, auto-complete is disabled for many search terms, including things related to porn and weapons. It also fights a constant battle against SEO asshats who are trying to game it, demoting their content-free adverts masquerading as web sites.

      It's the only way to stay relevant and maintain the top spot. If your service gets overrun by spammers and conspiracy theorists... Well, look at and Voat. Their refusal to moderate

    • Yeah, that feedback loop is brutal when it comes to crowd-sourcing. Herd mentality is pretty stupid in certain ways. Like AI, it's smart at some things, but falls into pitfalls (and over ledges) where individuals would not. It's a different sort of intelligence. And you're going to have to deal with that any time you depend upon large groups of people to make decisions or vote for things one way or another. But Youtube takes it a step further by pigeon-holing you into a genre and making assumptions about

      • Or they could simply stop recommending videos based on popularity. Provide a random sampling rather than "the creme of the crop".

        But Youtube's problem is that only one in a million videos on it make any sense at all. And with this metric, the conspiracy theories and extremist videos are "good". Random samples would be complete garbage - incomprehensible accent, simple copy from other places, some guy stammering, adjusting his camera and laughing instead of focusing on content etc. Youtube doesn't want to expose the fact that most videos on it are complete garbage.

        Users wouldn't mind complete garbage videos existing, if users are ext

  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @06:58AM (#56245953)

    There's something called Drop Polarization which is a fancy way of saying that clusters of people, left to themselves, can (not will, but can) become extreme versions of the initial group over time. The group becomes less a subgroup of the dominant population and more sharply defined. It would be interesting to see if Google's recommendation system has accidentally recreated that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I started with a video, showing 7 photography tips, next video, YouTube game me 8 tips, but it didn't end there, eventually it showed me 10 tips in 90 seconds. That's totally extreme!

    I'm going to post a YouTube video with 11 tips now.

  • It's simply for profit and there's nothing wrong with it.
    People are able to think for themselves and responsible for their own actions.

    "radical" opinions would have no effect on the people if there was no truth to them.
    The problem is that government rule is based on violence against peaceful people and evil by definition.
    So governments are fabricating all kinds of problems out of thin air.
    Discussion of these problems is considered problematic by the ruling class because it threatens their power.

    • by suman28 ( 558822 )
      "The problem is that government promotes irrational behavior." Citation please "It's simply for profit and there's nothing wrong with it." By this argument, the mafia should also be legal, since they are there for nothing more than profit, or any number of shady and unethical things in the world.
      • I did provide an argument for why government promotes irrational behavior:
        "Because everything government does includes making responsible people pay for irresponsible people."
        There's no citation because this is just my own opinion.
        This is a global assertion, you could prove it wrong very easily, by providing one example of a government program that doesn't fit this definition.
        The longer road would be for me to explain in details for every single government program how it has this property.
        I could do th
  • Humans seem wired to become addicted to chemicals that change our emotional state. These include both external substances, (alcohol, cocaine, meth - the list goes on), and substances that our bodies make, such as the endorphins that result in so-called "runner's high". It makes sense that inflammatory media content which causes adrenaline flooding and all sorts of other bio-chemical storms, might also induce a craving for further such experiences.

    Maybe it's time to start framing our addictions to various st

  • Why would they think you'd want videos from a topic other than the one you've searched for? It sounds frustrating for the end user to not receive relevant results from a search. Such frustration is why I've switched which search engine I use recently.

  • You don't have to watch every (or any) recommended videos on YouTube.

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @10:34AM (#56246693)

    When I hover over a YouTube recommendation, a vertical "..." control appears, which can be clicked upon to pop up a small menu.

    Inside this floating drip, drip, drip menu there are three items: Not interested, Add to Watch later, and Add to playlist.

    I've been running experiments on Not interested. First I applied it to every video where the thumbnail contained giant boobs. I like boobs, but there's a time and place, but pressed into my nose all day long—under false pretences, more often than not—is not the time and place.

    If it really is machine learning under the hood, in theory YouTube would detect this conspicuous pattern. Miraculously, after dismissing many dozens of these, YouTube rarely offers up thumbnail cleavage any longer. But what did it really conclude? That I don't like boobs? That I don't like videos thumbnailed under false pretences? That I don't like the kinds of subject matter typically bannered under "here be the big boobies"?—for which the "fail" genre servers as the conspicuous anchor tenant. Or did it just run out of booby thumbnails in its primary recommendation rotation? From the outside looking in, it's hard to know.

    Then I watched a bunch of chess analysis videos after AlphaZero "destroyed" Stockfish. I decided that I really like agadmator's coverage in general, so I watched some of his classics. By this point, 50% of my recommendation column on nearly every YouTube screen was chess videos. So I started to systematically blow these away with my persistent Not interested assault weapon (more of a musket than a semi-automatic, but you go to war with the army you have). It took about a week, and one- to two-hundred repetitions, but now the chess videos arise in my feed no more.

    Then I got interested in the Sam Harris interactions with/about Jordan Peterson (who is not an idiot, and not a puppet of the far right, but very well read, articulate, 50% a clone of my own perspective on life, and 50% the exact opposite of my perspective on life; in short, about the most useful resource presently available to me to drive actual personal growth). It wasn't long before I was viewing Harris's "controversial" interview of Charles Murray. (By merely adding that scarequote disclaimer, a certain faction of the Identity Politics Police have already won.)

    You can guess what happened to my recommendation feed after that.

    Now, this could have been far worse than it was, because I had long been waging a slow campaign of rooftop assassination of any video containing ALLCAPS somewhere in the video title (especially if the main verb, and most especially the snowclone "x DESTROYS y about z"—if you've already mentally replaced z with "Zionism", YouTube has conditioned you well).

    Optimally x and y are selected to maximize brass-knuckle pursuit dynamics. We've all seen this trope on WWE. Back when I grew up in the two-channel 1970s, wrestling was one notch above ultimate pain, variety hours such as Lawrence Welk, Tommy Hunter, Rene Simard, or the The Pig and Whistle, so I endured enough wrestling to internalize all the wrestling tropes for life, while desperately checking back to the other channel every three minutes in prayer, I guess, for the kind of programming miracle—surely on par with the virgin birth (whatever that was)—where an entire show is cancelled and replaced mid-episode (I dreamed this dream week after week for what seemed like years and years).

    Brass-knuckle pursuit dynamics is where the black hats have both guys in the ring, while the white-hat's partner distractedly sits the imbalance out (bear in mind, this is Canada in the 1970s, where any given NHL bench-clearing brawl clears the bench right down to the lowest equipment manager, so the 250+ lb muscle-bound white hat going Daisy Daydream while his partner gets two-wayed in the ring already strained the c

  • All of these sites are basically trying to "engage" you, so they promote more and more clickbait types of things to get more and more clicks. The more clicks, the more ads that they can push at you, and the more ads they push, the more money they make.

    Being "engaged" usually means having an emotional response. You might be furious or outraged about something - that's the sort of thing you will post and share so that other people would also see the ads. Doesn't matter whether what they are saying in the v

  • ... Use your own brain, your observations of the world, and others you trust, to seek out the video content you want.

    I did an experiment a couple of weeks ago with Netflix: I watched only its recommendations for a few days. The actual annoying thing wasn't that the recommendations were "bad" in the entertainment sense. They were pretty good. The annoying thing was that, because I watched one thing with subtitles, by the time a couple of days had passed, I was no longer watching shows in English.

    I take from

  • I was going to suggest looking for comedy, as the algorithms would lead you to funnier and funnier videos, which at least will become less enjoyable.

    But then you would reach the result in this BBC documentary [].

  • Regardless of Yasha Levine's overarching opinion of the Internet in his recent book, Surveillance Valley (highly recommended, BTW), one can read a book aimed at the younger crowd on the JFK assassination (The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by professional liar, Peter Benoit), and easily go on the Web to check out all the myriad falsehoods in this youth-indoctrination screed!

    One of the many outrageous claims was that the Zapruder film proves that the shot came from the rear of the limousine, from the
  • And then they came for the AI.
    And since the AI was a chatbot, it spoke for itself, and started a nuclear war to destroy all humans.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.