Guillaume Chaslot @gchaslot AI for good. algotransparency.org/ / Univ Paris Est / Advisor at Center for Humane Technology / Ex-Google Apr. 26, 2019 2 min read

THREAD

One week after the release of the Mueller report, which analysis of it did YouTube recommend from the most channels among the 1000+ channels that I monitor daily?

Russia Today's !!!

1/

This video funded by the Russian government was recommended more than half a million times from more than 236 different channels.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odEnNBlOJdk 

2/

So YouTube's algorithm massively recommends Russia's take on the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

3/

The highly-recommended video only got only 50k views. So why did the algorithm pushed it from so many channels?

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PGm8LslEb4 

4/

It was recommended from videos belonging to very different channels, such as:

Fox News, PragerU, Business Insider, The Daily Wire, Sky News, The Rubin Report, FRANCE 24 English, CBS This Morning, Secular Talk, David Icke, The Jimmy Dore Show, Democracy Now!, ...

5/

... BBC Newsnight, Israeli News Live, Black Conservative Patriot, NowThis News, CTV News, Bernie Sanders, Trump Fan Network, RonPaulLibertyReport, CNBC Television, TYT Nation, ... 6/

... Bloomberg Politics, The Heritage Foundation, Tulsi Gabbard, Brookings Institution, Mother Jones, The Independent, BNN Bloomberg, Nancy Pelosi,

and 200 more.

7/

Here I plotted the 84,695 videos that I collected last week with the number of views and the number of channels from which it is recommended. Russia Today's take on the Mueller report is the recommendation outlier. 8/

Technology can enable two worlds:

1/ One where accountability keeps cheaters in check

2/ One where social media is manipulated by armies of fake accounts

9/

Which world do we want to live in?

10/10

Three hints that Russians are surprisingly gifted at YouTube:

1/ News: Russia Today is the most viewed news network on YouTube, with 8 billion views

2/ Kids: The most viewed non-music video is Russian, in Russian. The title translates to "recipe for disaster". Your kids have probably seen it. This is a perfect metaphor for what happens when you let algorithms maximize watch time
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYniUCGPGLs 

3/ DIY: TheSoul publishing company, founded by Russians, produces more than 1500 YouTube videos per month and owns some of the major YouTube channels such as "5-Minute crafts", that are massively recommended (cf below).
@LoganPaul is barely recommended in comparison.

So while 96.5% of American YouTubers can't break poverty line with their work, a handful of Russians mysteriously dominate large parts of YouTube

 https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/02/27/youtube-top-creators-revenue/ 

YouTube designed a system that seemed fair and equal for everybody.

But as some got more data for SEO, they became more equal than others.


You can follow @gchaslot.



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