Bookmark: "TheirTube - exposing YouTube's algorithmic bias"

Sebastian Greger


While the algorithmic bias of YouTube’s recommendation engine has been presented in various ways over past years, the project TheirTube by Tomo Kihara goes one step further:

Updated daily, Kihara uses an automated browser script to log in with “persona” YouTube accounts that have consumed a certain set of videos in the past (e.g. videos that climate deniers would watch) and presents the selection of videos YouTube recommends to them. (see the About page).

This whole project started when I was in a heated discussion with a person who thought climate change was a hoax and 9/11 was a conspiracy. Through conversations with him, I was surprised to learn that he thought everyone’s YouTube feed had the same information as his own feed. When we showed each other our YouTube homepages, we were both shocked. They were radically different. And it got me thinking about the need for a tool to step outside of information bubbles.

Also worth reading on this topic: YouTube, the Great Radicalizer by Zeynep Tufekci.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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