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TheirTube – How do the recommended videos look on their Youtube home page? (their.tube)
254 points by reimertz 9 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 126 comments





This is very insightful. I have considered another, somewhat related idea: to sample a news / media site, over the course of time. The idea would be to illustrate how news bubble up and down in priority. It would for example be interesting to follow how a somewhat big but also controversial piece of news would be bumped down in priority as other news are added on top. As I understand, the news home pages changes very frequently to attract people to come back soon to see "what is new". This can have the effect that you miss out on something significant because it is already bumped down.

In the old days, when news was printed on paper, you would have one front page per day. I have no idea how many front pages there are per day now but probably dozens if not hundreds of variants, where only after some hours the biggest news is no longer the biggest.


With all our media resources and technology, it's crazy that there is no easy way to answer questions like "what happened politically in France in the last month?", "what were the economic developments in Africa in the last quarter?" or "what were the biggest battery technology advances in the last year?".

With the barrage of news it is very easy to miss a lot, especially if you want to keep up with multiple domains and geographical regions.

I would love some hierarchical listing that shows the most important news items for different time periods (week, month, quarter, year), and filterable by domain (eg business, economy, politics, science, technology, ...).

One should be able to continuously drill down. Eg start with all news world wide. Then show only Europe, then only eg Sweden, then the economy of Sweden. Same thing with topics. With each entry linking multiple articles from quality sources, across the political spectrum.

I would happily pay 25+/month for such an aggregator with the appropriate quality. Which probably would mean hand-curated lists (opening up all sorts of of bias problems, but still).

Edit: I wonder if this could be crowd-sourced via a dedicated platform.


The Economist paper edition has a spread with summarized news for the past week. I have been thinking of isolating myself from the news cycle and keeping myself up-to-date with a one week latency, using the Economist's summaries. The problem is, I have not found a suitable replacement for national (in my case Swedish) and also local news. Would also pay for a similar aggregator.

If you can stomach Hakelius then Fokus was some good quality journalism when I was a subscriber.

Good suggestion. I can stomach Hakelius, certainly. He is one of the best writers in the editorial space in Sweden today.


This is a fantastic idea! To me, it seems like this would be possible only by human curation and not using any automated system which means someone with foresight will have to invest upfront the capital, time and energy to make this a reality (as opposed to a few talented engineers go off with some ML/NLP thing to figure this out).

I’ve often wished that journalistic institutions would also publish a more long-term view on what they think is going on in the world. I think the most important effect of this could be that it would push them to consider how much their daily coverage is in line with what they actually consider to be important developments. If you explicitly state that climate change is one of the three most important challenges on the scale of the current decade, for example, can you justify the attention (or lack thereof) you give it in your daily coverage? A daily newspaper implicitly makes these judgements of how much attention each topic deserves, but they rarely have to explicitly state and defend these judgements.

There is no incentive to weigh news as proportionally more or less important. Indeed, it takes some time for some news to be shown to have had a disproportionate impact, so that is part of the problem. But news outlets are even more strongly incentivized to highlight the current as the biggest, most urgent problem, over and above curating and continuing to examine trends and events of the recent past.

You can do that right now with Google News.

Here's "what happened politically in France in the last month":

https://news.google.com/search?q=when:30d+french+politics


Have you scanned the list? I would not describe that as giving a good overview of French politics for the last month. My two other examples are considerably worse.

The query also seems to be limited to a month. When increasing the query param to 60 or 120 days, nothing changes.


Sounds like a ranking problem; not very hard to solve.

Just to offer a bit of insight, the primary vector of entry for new and repeat visitors on news sites is now a specific article, not a section front like a homepage. So, a typical article is literally the de-facto homepage you're imagining. Unless it has a sidebar (rare in the mobile age), it'll look just as anonymous as any other article.

To be sure, sections (such as a homepage) still do get significant number of visits. However, the numbers I speak of differ by an order of magnitude. Articles really are the homepages now, this isn't a blind generalization.

There's a bit of a Heisenberg effect involved here. We know not to spend too much time dressing a section front, but we know we'll be judged for it by you. So we put stuff up there that might be what you think we should think to be significant, or else you'll lose your trust in our judgment.

But by no means does seeing the placement tell you anything about effectiveness of placement.


Okay, is it then social media that acts as the "first page" for news sites? To what extent is it the news sites own Twitter etc feed, and to what extent from sharing?

Seems very arbitrary these days if there is any way to get a curated and prioritized selection at all. Seems more like a continuous stream. Keeping up to date is sisyfos work.


Depends on the market. But generally speaking, search engine and social (and dark social) just about evenly account for a vast majority of entry points.

However, consider that social share counts can and often exceed measured view counts. As in, viral articles are not necessarily ever read by people who share them.


I also like/had this idea, and if someone else doesn't make it first, or wants to help on it, I'm iterating with the name Wait24News.

I got tired of all the clickbait and recommendation spam on my YouTube homepage so I made some filters in uBlock Origin.

My filters also block out recommended videos on the righthand side of the video you are watching.

Here's what it looks like: https://imgur.com/a/uxpQE1J

If you'd like the same, enter this into your uBlock Filters. https://pastebin.com/PK1hdeEn

(Feedback and additions Welcome! This is something I hope to share with others to make YouTube a little less insufferable)


You might be interested in Invidious. It's a lightweight youtube frontend that runs in the browser.

https://invidio.us/

https://github.com/iv-org/invidious

You can host it yourself or use one of the many public installations: https://github.com/iv-org/invidious/wiki/Invidious-Instances


I use a FF addon[0] that redirects YT links to Invidious

[0]https://github.com/metiis/invidious-redirect


>https://invidio.us/

Cease and desist in 3 ... 2 ... 1



My somewhat minimalistic youtube: https://imgur.com/a/hkrB04F

I use Stylus plugin to resize the videos and ublock filters to hide things like breaking news, views, "For You" search results etc.

Custom CSS in Stylus: https://pastebin.com/vcqVNfv4 Ublock Filters: https://pastebin.com/wsaTXG0H


I did the same thing, even got rid of the "Up Next" section. It helps reduce distraction and keeps me on YouTube less.

You can also use DFTube which can hide the news feed, comments, playlists and so on. You can choose which to hide or show.

you should probably publish this to github or something so people can subscribe to this as a filter list.

Flat Earther is not one of the options available from what I can tell. I suppose it falls under conspiracist although that is a pretty broad category.

Fruitarian, Prepper, Liberal, Conservative, Conspiracist, Climate Denier

The web design is really good! And it's funded by Mozilla which is cool


Some of the prepper videos actually look kinda cool. Lots of DIY stuff.

This is part of the prepper hole. Also it's like one upping the Jones. I'm more off grid than u!

Preppers are just paranoid DIYers.

predicting problems + planning prevention = preparedness

Preppers seem paranoid because mental health is a normative social function and they're on an edge of the spectrum.


> normative social function

?


not the person you replied to but they probably mean that mental health is defined by a range of acceptable behaviors and they are close to the edge of the range.

Civilization short-selling + DIY.

I would have thought that no one would use the word paranoid to describe a prepper after that many deaths, but here we are.

Would 1% risk of death be enough for you to isolate yourself from society 2-3 years until we have widespread vaccine adoption?

Preparing for the end of civilization is perhaps a bit paranoid (I hope), or at least somewhat pointless :)

Side note: that said there is probably many reasonable DIY outdoor enthusiasts who gets categorized as preppers.


Um, absolutely Yes. In fact that's what we have and Yes I have been isolating myself. I'm waiting for case counts to drop to 0 before I go back. There's probably a fair number of people like that.

lol so true

Now that I've had a chance to click through each of the sections and browse different days I want to follow up.

First, a lot of the videos are pretty old, multiple years old. That seems weird but idk maybe that's how YouTube works I guess.

There's not a lot of variety in the channels on each section. This is likely due to what subscriptions are setup.

Most of the videos are pretty tame. I've seen a lot worse casually browsing YT so I think being able to crank it up to 11 would be a fun feature of the site.

Observations based solely on what I saw,

Fruitarians seem to be about eating healthy and working out.

Preppers are about diy living off the grid and less about stockpiling guns.

Liberals watch a lot of comedy news type shows and music reviews. Most of their focus is what Republicans are doing

Conservatives have a show featuring Tito Ortiz who is famous for taking a lot of brain damage in the UFC which I thought was funny. More to their category tho, it featured a lot of videos doing "gotchas" on liberals.

Conspiracists watch a lot of videos by some guy named Shane and unsolved mysteries videos.

Climate Deniers I think this channel wasn't tuned right or maybe they really do watch a lot of videos put out by the oil industry (they aren't obfuscating this)


Came to say the same. The notes mention that the profiles are updated daily, I wonder if “Flat Earther” used to be a profile. Perhaps reimertz chose that post title because it concisely conveys the spirit of the site, even if it isn’t an actual option.

What's a fruitarian?

A stricter form of veganism, where you only eat raw fruit. Steve Jobs and Gandhi was fruitarian too; usually such people practice indian spiritualism in some form too (e.g. yoga)

Not quite. Veganism is a belief system, whereas fruitarianism is a diet. The latter is compatible with veganism since the diet contains no animal products, but you can be a fruitarian who exploits animals in a non-dietary fashion (e.g. wearing leather, buying products tested on animals, etc.).

Also, my understanding is that at least some fruitarians allow for some amount of nuts/seeds and leafy greens, but I don't know if that's universally accepted.


The wiki page of veganism disambiguates between dietary vegans and ethical vegans.

It does, but that page was likely written by non-vegans, who in general have a hard time seeing past the dietary aspect of veganism, since it's the biggest obstacle to becoming a vegan for most people.

As I point out in another comment[1], the origins of veganism are very much rooted in animal rights. I grew up vegetarian, but I would never refer to myself as a "dietary Hindu." There's a lot more to it than just the diet!

Typically, a vegan would refer to someone following a vegan diet as a "plant-based dieter" in order to distinguish between the groups.

FWIW, I became a vegetarian at age seven (22 years ago) and became vegan a little over three years ago, and never in my life have I heard or seen the terms "dietary vegan" or "moral vegetarian" which are both mentioned in the Wikipedia article.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23992110


I know plenty of non-ethical vegans. Vegan can also simply be a diet, as it is quite healthy, without bringing along the whole of the animal rights baggage (right or wrong).

This is a definition only used by non-vegans. The word "vegan" was coined by Donald Watson in 1944, the founder of The Vegan Society. Their definition of veganism is:

> A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

The recent rise in interest in plant-based eating—while awesome—has unfortunately caused a lot of confusion about what veganism is. Many people who start following a vegan diet for health or environmental reasons* eventually become vegan, but this isn't always the case.

* FWIW, my interest was sparked by environmental concerns.


> This is a definition only used by non-vegans.

Hmm..mostly I agree with what you say in your 3 comments, (longtime vegan here, for ethical reasons) but this seems going too far. This is just a guess, which my evidence suggests is not correct, and it seems very odd presenting it as a certain fact. If someone has a vegan diet, sure I would call them vegan. What else?! (Well, I don't think I've come across someone who is vegan for non-ethical reasons, like their own health - vegetarian, yes, but not vegan.) I do avoid animal products, but I don't think of that as part of, or the same thing as, being vegan.

Words don't always mean what they used to, or what some dictionary or society says. Meanings evolve and can't (mostly) be controlled. It seems the word, like many others, now has multiple meanings, and calling the use of other meanings than the one you prefer "confusion about what veganism is" seems..a political move, trying to attract/convert people to your cause[0], and not how it seems to you, a grammatical move to try to keep the Unchanging True Meaning untainted. I guess what you say makes sense if you only call people "vegan" when they use the word the same as you. Then, by definition, it's a definition only used by non-vegans. But the sentence I quoted appears to make much stronger claims, and it seems false to me. Well, I know it's false, as I'm a vegan in your sense, but use the word to mean someone with a vegan diet.

[0] i.e. the cause of using the word the same way you do.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

> No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.[1][2] Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule: "no true Scotsman would do such a thing"; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group.


Sure, but the difference here is that there is no one person who coined the term "Scotsman" with a specific definition of what a Scotsman is...

Remember how Steve Jobs only ate fruit? It's that.

I suppose a more interesting question is why is fruitarian an option there? Is there some subset of that community that is overly pushy about their beliefs, or is there some inherent hidden danger in listening to "fruitarian gurus"? Do they fall somewhere near groups like breatharians?

I'm not really familiar w/ that subculture, so I'm legitimately curious.


I didn't know either but I like the 3-hour relaxing music video that was recommended to them. After a few minutes of that I thought, "How bad could they be?"

Seems like that category is a mixture of vegan and no-cook meals.

Someone with a blender and a warped idea of a healthy diet.

Someone who only eats fruit.

A type of vegan.


I would be described as a "climate denier" by many people here, but my YouTube recommendations have zero overlap with the fictional recommendations. This is because I do not feel any need to prop up my opinions with endless wacky video propaganda.

Look, I'm sure there are plenty of people who get sucked into bubbles of YouTube nonsense, and sadly these recommendations may accurately represent the recommendations for typical users. But just deciding that someone is a "liberal" or a "conspiracy theorist" does not in fact mean that you can assume anything about what they are seeing on YouTube, which is what the title seems to claim. Please keep that in mind.


well, obviously Youtube isn't going to read your mind and figure out you're a climate denier. It's going to recommend your videos based on previous viewing, this is a preview of what people who view these types of videos will see.

I would have thought anyone on this site could discern that but you're self-proclaimed climate denier so I guess you did your best :)


I actually find the exercise on this TheirTube thing to be utterly useless. It has a real world validity on par with lie detectors and homeopathy.

A person, or group of people, set up this site and built YouTube profiles on what they think people in these categories are like. Then they use those profiles to show "what these people see". The problem is few actual, real individuals match these caricatures. The people that built this site aren't "them", except within a limited one of the presented profiles or two. My only hope is that nobody tries to build an argument around the outcomes of this exercise.

I think if anything is to be learned, it's the biases and preconceptions of the people that built the site moreso than anything about how YouTube builds recommendations... re-enforcing or otherwise (and I'm no fan of YouTube recommendations, either).

Esse quam videri


That's not what they did though.

"Each of these TheirTube personas is informed by interviews with real YouTube users who experienced similar recommendation bubbles"

"These accounts subscribe to the channels that the interviewees followed, and watches videos from these channels to reproduce a similar viewing history and a recommendation bubble"


Cool idea, I've always wanted to do this but instead of using political lines, I've always wanted to know what the recommendations of the peoples of Indian reservations, the black belt, other ethnic enclaves in and outside of America etc. This app seems to exist more for social media activism than for building insight into the lives of different peoples (which is absolutely okay and needs to be said, but still). Are there other websites like this out there?

Try to push your youtube bubble around. It takes days to weeks.

Unfortunately you'll need to already know a number of entry searches to "seed" the movement. After that you can try to just move around by surfing from the seeds.

I think it's easier if your target bubble uses a different script, or at least a different language.


I was thinking of building a website that simply asks people permission to share a snapshot of their YouTube or other social media recommendations to keep the feed authentic. It would seem to be easy enough to collect and categorize different people's feeds, if I could somehow convince the right people to open up that part of their lives.

It might help to clear your watch history and subscribers list to get a bit of a fresh start.

This is why I browse incognito, clear my cookies, use a VPN, and don't participate in the phenomenon of recommended content. I don't want some algorithm telling me what I should want.

Honestly I really like Youtube's recommendation algorithm. I'm a car guy and so most of my Youtube consumption is in car culture. I think the key to living with it is not to block it and avoid it at all costs, but rather to understand what the underlying algorithm is doing (broadly speaking).

It's funny that once I became a software developer (frontend specifically), things like dark patterns and other UI features that try to keep users on the app is very interesting to me. I will never put something like that in my own code but it's still interesting to pick up dark patterns out of every day apps we use (Instagrams "slot machine of dopamine" is one that comes to mind)


My experience is completely to the contrary. It's just the same videos over and over again. (Apparently, there are just two new videos published on YT over an average week. I wonder, how they are still thriving.) Discoverability is only by text search. If I watch a video, it gets added to the recommendations (as I ought to re-watch it instantly.) It's even worse with the new interface and the "recently added" section gone. – Apparently, my very own bubble is my own past, exclusively. Completely broken.

I've been experiencing this for years and it's worse to a critical point with the notion of recentness gone.


same here. Complete shit show. The videos I watch a lot of relate to retro-computing and programming retro machines. You'd think that's a pretty broad topic to base recommendations on. Nope. It's the same dozen videos over and over in my recommendation list from the same handful of youtubers. It's pathetic and seemingly getting worse.

I never feel like I am in this group, but maybe it's because I frequently search out opinions, views, and beliefs I may not agree with, and add them to my algorithmic considerations.

So you don't have an account on any website?

No, they just use a VPN, incognito, clear cookies, etc. as they stated.

This isn't an either/or situation.


You can also use a very basic rule in, say, uBlock Origin to hide the sidebar completely: youtube.com###related

Even if you do that, whatever YouTube recommends to you will still be selected by an algorithm.

Yes but recommendations will be limited to what's generally popular at my perceived geolocation instead of personalized to search history.

Exactly. And you prefer that? All I see is generic teen pop culture vlog drivel, nothing interesting to me at all.

I get trying to be private and disclosing as little information to Google as possible. However, I've found YouTube unearths interesting content pretty well if you create an account and let it track your preferences a little bit. Especially don't turn off the viewing history, otherwise you'll get the same recommendations over and over and YouTube is kind of useless.


You realise that the Hacker News front page is an algorithm that predicts what you should want?

Haha! Hacker News is a notoriety contest. Obscure doesn't make it to the front page.

Does it? Is it personal?

Yes, by self-selection of visitors.

I just use a shortcut straight to the subscriptions feed, and curate my own content

I was watching some motorcycle videos overseas, and of course liked (button click) them. This then had my entire channel filled with languages i dont understand.

The fix is to remove all liked videos, problem, I had over 15,000 liked videos over decades(s?) of use. I finally found a howto, a script to run in chrome to remove all my likes.

Also I have an addon that lets me put channels into categories, addon called PocketTube. It lets me see unfiltered access to my channel choices, and youtube hates its direct access and if I open a video in a new tab, it prompts me for a captcha. I've ended up watching youtube in a VM with a VPN so I can change locations due to youtube's heavy handed behavior. I also will just copy the URL and watch on my desktop.

Really, youtube content is vast and un-navigable, they filter results, show in the wrong default order, wont remember settings of order, removed language choice filter.

The 80/20 rule, or top 10%, Pareto principle, whatever you want to call the cream on the top problem. The problem is small popular percentage of content. Youtube is pushing popular videos, and you miss out on all the lower popular videos, hiding 80% of the content, many new creators go unnoticed and unviewed.

There is a demand for a front end portal, that runs unfiltered but allows search controls, skip popular, view ascending order of all content, view by category only, be able to exclude content, exact search phrase allow, no shadow banned or hidden content rules, no white list rules (by default).

I cant be the only one tired of facebook/google/twitter showing me what they think I want, i didnt ask them to be my parser of content, just because I use their service, as its the only game in town, I still dont want spoon fed content.

Same problem with podcasts, a search function vs a browse directory. There are so many podcasts, and most places give you the top 10 podcasts per search.

I think a unfiltered directory of content providers (any platform), tired with advertising, crowd funding, etc would re-open the internet of new content, and take back the controlling behavior of mega corps.


Previously discussed 13 days ago - 160 comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23859548

I checked out the prepper channel and I actually like the videos that were on there. I know the gag here is that these are fringe topics, but this is a fun way to explore other topics.

I always like the general DIY stuff, the problem ends up being that if I watch one or two fun "how to can goods for the end of the world" videos or whatever YouTube inevitably starts recommending people talking about how they're going to start a race war and live in their bunker and kill all the immigrants and black people or something horrible along those lines. I used to live in an area with a lot of prepers and this was their prevailing thought. I'm not sure if it's a minority of the community or not, but it's what YouTube likes to recommend anyways.

I don't believe you Re: the extremist YouTube recommendations. They remove videos and ban channels for far less.

Does that stop them being recommended in the mean time? I normally just report this sort of thing, but I never go back to specifically see if it gets removed (hopefully it does). It's what always seems to happen. Of course, it could be from something else I'm watching too, is there a way to see why their algorithm recommends particular things? I mean, it's not like it happens every day, right now my feed is entirely full of mountain bike content, which seems to generate much more friendly and welcoming recommendations.

Despite how drastically different the recommendations are for each persona, there seem to be some videos which are inexplicably nearly universally recommended. It's practically a meme - the top comment on many older videos is something along the lines of "See you all again in 5 years when Youtube decides to recommend this again" or "I didn't search for this. Neither did you."

I notice the "liberal" link has "leftist" in the URL. Is YouTube so basic, it cannot distinguish the two?

I'd bet that more than 95% of the US population would equate those two terms.

We might as well stop using the term liberal, it means so many things to different people now.

We might as well stop using the term logic, it means so many things to different people now.

Liberal is well defined in virtually all models of classification used in political science and political philosophy, which a project such as this should probably defer to.


People absolutely do not agree on what "a liberal" would believe in. Hell, to some people, it's nothing more than a slur.

Also, the reductive "then we should toss out the word 'logic' then!" kinda comes off as a tantrum, to me. I don't really get the point. Why not focus and possibly disagree with the suggestion that nobody agrees on what "a liberal" means?

If you try to switch the argument to your analogy, then you're going to spend more time defending and explaining your (nonsensical) analogy than you would just explaining where you disagree. For example, you'd have to start explaining why you think people disagree about the word "logic", something I've never encountered.

Not a very effective strategy.


People absolutely do not agree on what "logic" is. Just ask people. Hell, to some people, it's nothing more than "I'm right."

>I don't really get the point.

The point is that it doesn't matter if people in general don't know that the word means, which is why I didn't refer to "people" but classification systems designed by and for people trying to understand political ideologies and orientations. The term "liberal" has definite specific meanings that correspond relatively narrowly.

> something I've never encountered.

Then you've never asked regular people what logic is or haven't noticed that their answers differ widely and hardly correspond to what philosophers and mathematicians mean. Nevertheless, the laity's ignorance does not dilute the meaning of the term.


Seems like, relative to its own system, YouTube has a decent grasp of where I lie on the political axis. (pretty close to the center)

Something I genuinely do not understand is the relation between conspiracy themed content and left/right politics.

Is there a correlation between YT's recommendation algorithm clearly seems to think there is as there are videos that I would describe as more tangentially political than topical on both the Climate Denier and Conspiracist pages.


What does everyone think of Shellenbergers apology for climate alarmism? (Apocalypse Never) It showed up in that category.

This is a very cool idea. I'd love to see similar versions for sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Although the generated personas are caricatures by design, this is a great example of persona development and user segment branching.

Great website with excellent design that provides a thoughtful exploration of the youtube's online "echo chambers".


I setup an RSS / ytdownloader script a year or two back for my subscriptions. It just mirrors the latest videos to my private CDN overnight, and sends me an email first thing in the morning with a digest. Much nicer way to watch YouTube

It's really sad how youtube is becoming a selective news service where it's always doom and gloom and impending fear and anxieties.

That's why I just use it for music.


I like the idea of PipeWire where you can create your own feed without logging in. If I like someone I will send them a donation directly. I don't want want them to be telling me to like and subscribe every 5 seconds and then telling me what products to by because they are secretly sponsored by them.

I wish there was a way to turn the recommendation algorithms to their inverse setting. Watch a right wing video? Get recommended something from the left. Watch a debunking video? Get recommendations on topics in the paranormal and the fringe.

This strikes me more as actual "red pilling."


There really is no “other side” to many of these. You won’t find a community of lunatics making 340min-videos about “round earth”, except maybe NASA. And the opposite of a far-right racist isn’t a far-left anything, but a regular person that just happens not to be racist.

Great point, I guess the opposite of a prepper video is just an hour long video about someone showing you their regular pantry with average amounts of food and explaining where they want to go on vacation for the next several years.

In America today, the concept of "a regular person that just happens not to be racist" is a right-wing stance.

The current dominant cultural/political/academic stance would suggest that all people are inherently racist and that living in the US is participating in a racist society.

The opposite of a "far-right racist" is seen constantly online and in real life as the "anti-racist" or "racial equity advocate" who, rather than supporting non-racist policies (eg, blind auditions for an orchestra where only the sound of playing is heard) they support actively "anti-racist" policies (eg, specifically including race as a consideration for who to include in an orchestra, to achieve a racially diverse outcome from auditions).

Of course, just drawing these lines is itself politically challenging. The far-left anti-racist is likely to believe that anyone saying they're not a racist is just in denial or lying. The non-racist might see contemporary policies to treat people differently on the basis of race as itself racist rather than anti-racist.


Yeah that's the issue with "do your own research" that's often brought out by the QAnon groups, etc. except I don't know how you possibly deal with one side having pages of pages saying XYZ politician smells like sulfur and is literal demon.

What's that person supposed to do put up a page on their website about not smelling like a demon?


Yeah but if you get contradictory messages it'll make like watching both videos feel like a waste of time. Which it is. :( sad for profits.

Sadly, the true mathematical opposite of a good, politically-slanted video in recommendation feature-space, probably isn’t one that is good and politically-slanted in the other direction; but rather, one that’s both apolitical and very bad.

To a recommender model, the clusters for “left-wing” and “right-wing” content aren’t on opposite ends of the feature cloud; they’re likely very close neighbours.

A recommender algorithm would have to be a lot smarter to realize that some particular neighbouring cluster has an adversarial (i.e. “watching X makes you less likely to watch Y, without that just meaning that X and Y are redundant”) relationship with the one it’s looking at.


That sounds like a non-trivial technical problem.

What someone doesn't want to watch is far too broad, from one of the videos on the liberal profile here, you'd be as likely to be "unrecommended" a right-winger's vlog as the Baby Shark song, unless they're keeping track of far more metrics than I think would be practical even at Google scale.


Yikes, the name of the website is right there. How did this post title get so screwed up. @dang can you fix the "There" in the title?

Seems to have been fixed.

Clicking on the back arrow lets you check out recommendations for previous dates.

neat, I missed that when I saw the website earlier

Neat website. Wish we didn't have this dishonest clickbait title though.

What is the YouTube homepage even for? Why does anyone ever see it?

Same reason you see Netflix's homepage.

When logged in, Youtube.com shows you a mix of new videos from creators you watch and related/recommended videos in the effort to provide you something you will probably want to watch. So I go there when I'm in the mood to watch something, perhaps while eating dinner.

And it works. If you want to see how ineffective it would be just looking at a list of popular videos, view the horror that is the trending tab.

https://www.youtube.com/feed/trending


I guess I just don't ever use YouTube that way. People embed videos in their blogs or on Twitter, and that's where I see them.

This is a great question and something I've often wondered. Most of what I see after deleting recommendations, likes/dislikes, and subscriptions is just click bait. If I put something on that is educational for my kids, next thing I know it is recommending vile content to them. Where do those suggestions and recommendations actually come from?

Great idea, someone should do this for FB too.

Their liberal persona is actually fairly mainstream, probably to the right of the average Bernie Sanders supporter.

The project has ties to the Mozilla Foundation, and the author also works on a project funded by the European Commission. It's either bias blindness, propaganda, a deliberate way to secure funding, or some combination thereof.

That's how I feel too although it's the hardest category for me to judge objectively

Not to be that guy but: s/there/their

The title is "ThereTube" -- today I was that guy...


Fixed now.

Great stuff, bad AI recommendations at least for the climate denier part. (maybe you should change it to climate catastrophism skeptic which would be more precise from the results I see) very few people denies there is a climate I take it :)



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