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


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 !!!


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


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


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


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!, ...


... 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.


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


Which world do we want to live in?


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 

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 

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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