I used to have that concern as well, but then I realised I didn't actually get that much value from yt recommendations. The stuff I want to see comes from channels I'm subscribed to and only very rarely have I discovered something good from recommendations - most of the discovery comes from the right-hand side video column.
The last rec engine I got much value out of was early Netflix, around the first public competition to improve their engine.
My nightmare is that corporations suddenly realized that recommendation engines don't actually help them sell content. Maybe it's easier to persuade tons of people to watch something they'll all think is "good enough" rather than to identify or develop content some tiny subgroup of people will think is sublime.
Did anyone ask for; "What did you think of this video?" 5-star feature, or "Recent Posts" ie. "Hi guys, i know i haven't done a video recently blah blah".
It appears they are repeating the same mistakes made on G+.
I'd assume that data is being used for training somewhere.
For example, I kept seeing Starcraft 2 replays on the homepage after watching the AI vs human tournament which kept helping me procrastinate. I don't even play the game nor subscribe to a single SC2 channel.
Cleared history, started off strong watching some of my language-learning channels, and now my Youtube homepage is pretty productive.
This doesn't make much sense to you until you realize one of the biggest groups of video watchers on YouTube is toddlers.
If I start a random video and let it automatically progress to the next one, I will have to watch it (or parts of it) to tell if I’m interested or not.
This is particularly annoying for Youtube music where starting a radio from something you like now is guaranteed to add new artists to “your artists” because you listened to them once, only to click “next” or “not interested”.
An example of this is Blue's Clues, initially producers/scheduling were afraid that by having reruns in the same timeslot would doom the show. Instead kids being able to watch the shows again was a great boon to their target audience's enjoyment.
Ignoring that kind of direct and obvious feedback is crazy.
Another infuriating thing about that button is that it visually overlaps the video itself (at least in the iPhone app). I don’t know how many times I’ve fatfingered it and started playing an upsetting video rather than report it.
Instead this is like asking users to click thumbs up or down in response to an ad, "Don't show me this ad again" or fill out a survey about the ads.
The issue is not that the user is annoyed by a specific toxic video. That is only the effect, not the cause. The issue is that Google's recommendation system is, as they say, "broken". Either fix it to stop promoting "popular" garbage (which is "popular" because it is auto-recommended and auto-played), or turn if off by default.
This is another example of an "opt-out" that most users cannot be bothered with. Instead of sane defaults: recommendations off, auto-play off.
If Google must force users to interact with a particular video and click something so they can collect another data point, then a more sensible approach would be "opt-in". Let users decide whether they want some recommendations based on a particular video they manually select. "Show me recommendation based on this video"
Just more dark patterns. If a choice was one users wanted (recommendations on, auto-play on), then the way to test that is to make them choose it. Instead, Google makes the default choices that benefit Google and requires users to change settings. Often forcing them to sign-in and be tracked in order to change a default setting.
Or maybe people like content that you don't? People aren't drones who watch something because it was shovelled into their watch next. Chances are it was decent content. For them.
If you consider this a dark pattern then you probably need to get a better perspective. There are far worse actors online.
Actually, in this context, they are. If YouTube were content with people using recommendations as you describe, they could simply keep the sidebar list where you could click on one if you're interested. (or the recommendations that pop up after a video is played, or the home screen or the seemingly half dozen other places they show recommendations)
Instead, they implemented Autoplay mode, which basically works exactly like the force-fed drone model you described.
Also with videos about cute / funny babys. It slippery sloped into explicit birth giving videos and other almost pedophilic things.
I had to manually delete every video in her history to fix that.
The problem we have is determining what is good content and what is bad content and who is the arbiter of what is good or bad. Something you think is bad, might be something someone else thinks is good. These determinations are highly subjective.
Youtube has some culpability here.
I do not like the idea filtering reality. A video could instead be if you do stupid thing X this happens. Then again it also depends on the age and maturity of the kid/teen. You dont want to terrify them or scare them wanting to try or learn new things. However learning from others mistakes is better than finding out first hand yourself. Like I said most videos on youtube are not an analysis of mistakes that lead up to an event.
Then you just have unfortunate accidents/events which don’t really tell you more than sometimes life can be brutal.
Although, I think youtube filters violent stuff unless your account says your over 18, and removes really disturbing stuff outright.
Then again automated filters are not perfect.
They took pains to give the "follow the recommendation" action the most frictionless path possible in the UI - just wait and do nothing. In contrast, this new feature to dial back recommendations is a buried in an obscure menu only reachable by clicking a button labeled "..." in a counterintuitive location. I can think of few ways how you could increase the friction any more.
I have seen a good number of people who struggled with the Autoplay mode in presentations, either could not stop it in time or forgot about it and then had their presentation derailed by the next video. I've seen exactly zero people who actually wanted to use it.
Of course this is wishful thinking when the CEO's performance metric is to keep their users glued to the screen as long as possible.
> The move comes after Susan Wojcicki and other YouTube executives were criticized for being either unable or unwilling to act on internal warnings about extreme and misleading videos because they were too focused on increasing viewing time and other measures of engagement.
I'm perfectly capable of finding wanted content on my own, thanks, Youtube! :)
YT is useful, but a trainwreck I simply don't allow my family to watch. It even got my Dad (who's aged/infirm) to become paranoid due to the push-to-extreme-content problem. Best way to solve? Remove YT from his TV.
Brilliant hack. My eye naturally glances at those videos because it usually means I was simply distracted and probably want to resume it.
My theory is they have difficulty telling the difference, so they think the fact I've watched "80s-90s Hip Hop & R&B Playlist" repeatedly indicates I'd also like to watch "Plumbing bottle air vent teardown" repeatedly.
Is there some service somewhere that does a better job with YouTube videos?
Google has historically been unfriendly towards third party API use, but here's hoping.
On a positive note, I like what e.g. Spotify is doing in some places and I think Youtube can learn from that. They provide some great content discovery mechanisms. Curated playlists, users that listen to artist X also listen to artist Y, these are the top tracks for this artist (based on play statistics), etc. Very useful. Very low tech. Very easy to implement.
If only they'd stop confusing geo location with my interests. E.g. their release radar is full of German crap because I happen to live in Germany (I'm actually Dutch). Youtube does the same "you are in Germany! Here's some random German crap!" style promoted content on their front page. Most of it is very obviously not even remotely close to anything I watch. Location seems to drown out recommendation signals and all forms of common sense. It is used to push locally promoted content regardless of the not so subtle hints that I don't ever engage with that (my German sucks; why would I?).
There are hundreds of millions of migrants world wide, many of them have spending power and they are ignored and under served by most big tech companies (Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Apple, Google, etc.). This is surprising because they actually employ a lot of these migrants: they should know better. Getting content in the right language vs. the local language, localizing promoted content to the local language instead of what the user actually speaks and consumes on their service, etc. It's not hard and it's not because the content isn't there but because the algorithms are optimizing for the local lowest common denominator and most of these companies shoot.
ps: So angenehm wieder nen Tag mit halbwegs überlebbarem Wetter zu haben.
Then it seems to try to make me more extreme in some way (flat earther, hardcore gamer, etc) based on perhaps one partial watch of a semi-related video.
Surely there's some folks at Google who can see the raging dumpster fire this has become? I realize it's hard given all the competing interests (esp. advertisers), but this is horrendous.
As bad as it is, Netflix's suggestions are almost worse. I think these companies are optimizing on metrics that (ostensibly) show an improved experience while in reality they're destroying almost all user enjoyment.
Is it really a good thing that I "engage" longer with Netflix/YouTube trying to find something to watch with their terrible suggestions? (vs quickly navigating to a better video?)
They're optimizing for highest profits. For Netflix, that means showing you videos with the lowest licensing fees. For Youtube, that means showing videos where the uploader has paid to boost it.
I'm sure bad recommendations are an issue for some people, but for me they aren't that bad. I've found some pretty awesome stuff I probably wouldn't have found otherwise through it, and I'm pretty sure even my worst recommendations are better than what I see opening youtube.com in an incognito window.
Now that's a video idea. I currently live right under the flight path for planes flying out of SFO; I should set up a camera and just record the sky, since they fly pretty close overhead.
There's a guy who goes into the woods and takes videos of that environment along with great sound quality.
Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping, I search "white noise" and find videos like this. Usually I click on something like a 'fan blowing' video or a 'thunder storm' video. The noise/pattern combination somehow helps me sleep. It also helps me relax and focus while working.
(Is there no way to end a line with an escaped asterisk?)
And going back to the ad discussion, if you compare it to traditional media, you get to pay more than 10$ and still have to sit through 2-3m of advertisement, compared to the 5-10s long ads on Youtube.
By "now" do they mean `eventually`, because I just tried looking for said option with no success.
BTW, how about STOP SHOWING ME GRAMMERLY ADS!!!
Where!? I've been missing this Spotify feature for ages. I do not like Mastodon. I do not want Spotify to ever automatically put on Mastodon. It keeps putting on Mastodon.
During election month I watched lot of news videos
Then my feed was just news
Then I unfollowed and said "I want to not see channel x" for every 25 such channels
And then I watched standup comedy
And now my entire feed is comedy bits
I've moved back to watching tv shows/reading books and occasionally watching a specific video on YouTube
Spotify does it nicely. They clearly recognized the few different tastes I have. And then offer separate discovery-queues for each of them and let me decide depending on what mood/situation i'm in.
But that might be the main difference... they signal back their knowledge to the user. Steam kind does the same with "Is this game relevant to you?" info. More clearly telling me what youtube thinks about me would be the first step towards correcting it...
No matter how much I dislike, report, or ignore these videos, they always pop to the top. I don't view them, and never give them clicks, but because I watch every official John Oliver video, they get recommend to me.
Edit: I'm dismayed to see that you've posted many unsubstantive comments recently. Could you please not do that? As I said, the hope is for this site to be a bit better than internet default. We can't do that if established users don't take care of it.
Maybe give me a slider like the old SlashDot days so I could fine tune it depending on my mood :)
But it still recommends both to me, and I hate it.
All of my political YouTube views are in Incognito mode. Works great so far.