A new study finds that the number of conspiracy video recommendations on YouTube have substantially fallen, since the site modified its algorithms…
Conspiracy theories and lies are very difficult to combat and contain. So much, that Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” And, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, observed, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Both were referring to the phenomenon of misinformation, fake news, and bogus claims spreading faster than the truth. YouTube has had such a problem for many years. But, thanks to some smart tweaks to its recommendation engine, the video hosting site has experienced a decline in the promotion of conspiracies.
YouTube Conspiracy Video Recommendations Drop after System Tweaks
A recent study published by the University of California, Berkeley, reveals that conspiracy video recommendations on YouTube have dropped by 40 percent. This, thanks to system-level changes to its algorithms that are responsible for suggesting content to users.
Researchers looked at million of suggestions on the video hosting platform over the period of just more than a year’s time.
“We analysed more than 8 million recommendations from YouTube’s watch-next algorithm over 15 months. Recommendations were collected daily, starting from the most recent videos posted by a set of 1000+ of the most popular news and informational channels in the U.S.”
Although the site would like to reduce such recommendations to an even smaller amount, this demonstrates the company is making real progress to slow the spread of conspiracy-related content.