YouTube promoted conservative videos regardless of the views of the audience

YouTube recommendations algorithm are more likely to offer a conservative video regardless of the political convictions of users. About this writes The Register.

Researchers of the Center for Social Media and Politics of the University of New York asked 1063 adult American to establish an extension for a browser, tracking the experience of watching video content.

As a starting point, the team determined 25 videos of political and non -political content. Users were asked to choose one of them and follow the further recommendations of YouTube.

Each time after watching, the viewer had to choose one of five offers. For each participant, the team randomly recorded a permanent position.

The study was conducted from October to December 2020. Each participant watched the offered video on YouTube daily 20 times.

Expansion recorded which videos recommended the service at each stage. The team appreciated the ideological point of view of each video to measure the influence of an echo-camera and any hidden prejudices in the system.

“We found that the YouTube algorithm does not lead the vast majority of users to extremist rabbit burrows, although it pushes users into more and more narrow ideological lines of content,” the study says.

They found that on average the recommendation system leads the audience a little to the right of the political spectrum, regardless of their ideological beliefs.

“We believe that this is a new discovery,” the researchers said.

The team also found out that the system pushes users to watch more than the right or left media, depending on the starting point. As the recommendations passed on the recommendations, the ideological force increased, the researchers noted.

For example, when viewing moderately liberal materials over time, recommendations will be shifted to the left, but very slightly and gradually.

Previously, a similar effect was observed on Twitter. The recommendation algorithm of social networks tends to promote messages from right -wing politicians and news editions more than left.

Political scientists from New York University suggested that this may be due to the provocative nature of conservative content, which will lead to more involvement.

Recall that in September, Mozilla experts found that users with video on YouTube do not greatly affect the behavior of recommendatory algorithms.

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