‘Fiction is outperforming reality’: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth
Posted: 02 February 2018 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Another aspect of this increasingly dystopian world we are creating for ourselves.

Paul Lewis |  February 2, 2018
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/02/how-youtubes-algorithm-distorts-truth?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017

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.

[ Edited: 02 February 2018 10:11 AM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 03 February 2018 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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speaking of YouTube

How YouTube’s algorithm distorts reality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTxUetlqWmU

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Posted: 04 February 2018 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I picked up some groceries at Walmart and paid with my credit card. Got home and on the computer side bars was the grocery items I had purchased. Walmart was offering me to order by internet and they would be shipped to my doorstep. Point being that it is just not the computer, its credit cards too. The system wants to do away with paper money so everything you do is recorded.

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Posted: 08 February 2018 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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MikeYohe - 04 February 2018 03:10 AM

I picked up some groceries at Walmart and paid with my credit card. Got home and on the computer side bars was the grocery items I had purchased. Walmart was offering me to order by internet and they would be shipped to my doorstep. Point being that it is just not the computer, its credit cards too. The system wants to do away with paper money so everything you do is recorded.

I’m skeptical of “the system” wanting to eliminate paper money and control everybody through credit surveillance. Retailers do want to collect as much data about customers as possible but the goal isn’t anything more sinister than wanting to tailor marketing more precisely, which of course keeps people spending.

It is much different from the nonsense presented in the guardian article - i.e. YouTube brainwashed potential Hillary voters with controversial content. These unhealthy people can’t move on from the election, so they’re reaching for increasingly desperate theories in order to calm their damaged minds.

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Posted: 08 February 2018 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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As for YTs new algorithm—the study contained in the article is padded out with nerd-verbosity, but basically it says they widened search parameters to include more metadata. Perhaps that seems suspicious to a person who is not internet savvy, which is probably true of most guardian readers as its an older crowd. Beyond that, the piece is a painkiller for wrecked liberals.

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Posted: 09 February 2018 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Beltane if you could show you had a clue about what you were talking about here I might be into listening more intently,
but instead it’s your typical apologist gloss over followed by the predictable total dismissal.
You think by ignoring what’s actually being talked about, you can fabricated your own reality.


I admit, I don’t know the behind the scenes complexity - but I do know I look at a fair amount of YouTube videos.  Fact based documentaries, scientists lecturing are among my favorites that I repeated search for, and view - that is what my record tells the computer.  Yet, that sidebar suggestions list constantly tries to steers me to the most outland pseudoscience bullshit videos.

Worse is when I’m researching serious climate science videos on a topic that I want to share, YouTube constantly pushes me to the most outlandish science denying criminal liars for pay channels. 

There is something very wrong with that.

It’s like YouTube actively promotes the fantasy bullshit end of the spectrum.

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Posted: 09 February 2018 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Beltane - 08 February 2018 04:40 PM

Beyond that, the piece is a painkiller for wrecked liberals.

Yeah, the expectation of honesty and realistically looking at our world’s physical realities is simply too much for the right-wing mind to manage these days.

Soothing words that tell you what you want to hear is all you appear to be interested in, why this that?

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Posted: 09 February 2018 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 09 February 2018 08:35 AM

It’s like YouTube actively promotes the fantasy bullshit end of the spectrum.

When I first started surfing YouTube, I had a theory that no matter what you picked, you’d eventually end up viewing UFO videos. After a while I decided it was my choices, but I’m still not sure. People point me to their psuedo-science, and I used to watch them, so that has affected my data too. I do less clicking on suspicious stuff now, it’s my small contribution to ending “fake news”.

But let’s say they were really trying to gauge public desire based on views. There’s no way that can work unless they can control their samples. Nielsen knows where their counters are and can monitor an data point. If the TV is never turned off, they can suspect it’s the dog watching it at least some of the time. It’s a lot harder to tell the difference between a robot and a real person on YouTube.

Worse, even if we solved that, you still have a bias of actual high use YouTube users. The entire purpose of the Internet is to spread information without a filter. The filtering has to be done by the receivers. There is no longer the inconvenience or time involved with going to the library, nor the cost of obtaining and organizing the information that libraries had. Nor is anyone looking over your shoulder to see what you’re checking out. I guess this is all pretty obvious, but I’m just wondering if we can blame the people writing the algorithms.

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Posted: 09 February 2018 08:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 09 February 2018 08:35 AM

Beltane if you could show you had a clue about what you were talking about here I might be into listening more intently,
but instead it’s your typical apologist gloss over followed by the predictable total dismissal.
You think by ignoring what’s actually being talked about, you can fabricated your own reality.


I admit, I don’t know the behind the scenes complexity - but I do know I look at a fair amount of YouTube videos.  Fact based documentaries, scientists lecturing are among my favorites that I repeated search for, and view - that is what my record tells the computer.  Yet, that sidebar suggestions list constantly tries to steers me to the most outland pseudoscience bullshit videos.

Worse is when I’m researching serious climate science videos on a topic that I want to share, YouTube constantly pushes me to the most outlandish science denying criminal liars for pay channels. 

There is something very wrong with that.

It’s like YouTube actively promotes the fantasy bullshit end of the spectrum.

Pseudoscience clips are showing up in your feed because YTs algorithm is reading most if not all of your online activity, condensing it and shuffling through the most popular science stuff based on that; unfortunately the most popular “science stuff” in YT library is actually pseudoscience.

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Posted: 10 February 2018 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I think Lausten has the more serious take. 

Beyond that seems I’m not being served by “my” history -
I’m stuck with the general viewing history of a country full of people on both sides who have unhinged themselves from fact based reality and who’d rather embrace their particular fantasy, rather than challenge themselves.

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Posted: 10 February 2018 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Of course all this begs the question:
Why are Americans at both ends of the spectrum so in love with fantasy thinking?  More importantly, why do they take it seriously?
Why the mortal offense at being corrected, or finding out you don’t know everything, or that something you “knew” turned out to be false?

I mean I love sweet fantasy thoughts as much as the next person, but we live in a real and pragmatic world,
I really try to recognize the difference between the two.

___________________________
a digression, since i’m been wrestling with the libertarian thing quite a bit lately,
After all Libertarianism is built on fantasy thinking, so it does fit into this thread.

let me present this contrast in approaches to achieving liberty and freedom in the real day to day of our lives:

The Libertarian wants freedom and resents others crowding them and telling them what to do.

On the job site that leads to resentment of rules and bosses -  I’ve watched it, I’m particularly struck at the simplistic denunciations of bosses and supervisors and their knowledge and particularly their job and ‘authority’, by people who have no conception of the complexities of the project or the position.  Sure some bosses are jerks, but to go from that to denouncing the position is ridiculous. We need bosses and supervisors looking over our shoulders to ensure that our little job, seamlessly fits into the greater project, because we’re focused on doing the job right, and don’t have time to worry about the greater project.  Successful ventures don’t happen by themselves.  But the puffed up libertarian would never admit to that.


A pragmatic approach, if you hate being micromanaged and constantly critiqued ordered around,
learn and respect the rules, appreciate why they were put in place, then learn the job, actively striving to do it as well as possible,
it’s amazing,
the boss learns to trust you and he/she winds up leaving you alone to enjoy the little niche of freedom you’ve managed to cut out for themselves.


I wonder if that make sense to a Libertarian?

[ Edited: 10 February 2018 09:35 AM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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