Another aspect of this increasingly dystopian world we are creating for ourselves.
An ex-YouTube insider reveals how its recommendation algorithm promotes divisive clips and conspiracy videos. Did they harm Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency?
I had cleared my history, deleted my cookies, and opened a private browser to be sure YouTube was not personalising recommendations. This was the algorithm taking me on a journey of is own volition, and it culminated with a video of two boys, aged about five or six, punching and kicking one another. . . .
Company insiders tell me the algorithm is the single most important engine of YouTube’s growth. In one of the few public explanations of how the formula works – an academic paper that sketches the algorithm’s deep neural networks, crunching a vast pool of data about videos and the people who watch them – . . .
During the three years he worked at Google, he was placed for several months with a team of YouTube engineers working on the recommendation system. The experience led him to conclude that the priorities YouTube gives its algorithms are dangerously skewed.
As one who does spend a lot of time on YouTube, I’m constantly blown away at where that side bar tries to take me. But, since I really am science and authoritative knowledge focused, I can recognize the difference between bullshit and authoritative constructive sources. But then, I’m also the dude that loves living on 40 acres of what is fundamentally a nature preserve at this point, surrounded by a tiny community of ‘neighbors’ and friends and their patches of land, some farming, some ranching, much left alone and a tiny river runs through it. I found heaven. I’m as lucky as it gets.
Outside I’m witnessing a society tossing off all empathy for others and obsession with a media force fed throw away consumerism, while our fundamental life support system is being battered into incoherence.