Want to change YouTube’s recommendations? Almost impossible!

Tram Ho

YouTube has millions of hours of content, and the platform’s recommendation system helps push content users may be interested in to the homepage and various recommended content areas. But according to a new study, the recommendation controls that YouTube gives users choice, it turns out, don’t really have much of an impact on what’s shown.

Normally, when watching videos on YouTube, although the video you watch will be the centerpiece, there are always other video recommendations that appear throughout the site on the web or even through the app. Suggested videos often appear alongside or below the main video as they’re playing, and the platform’s autoplay feature will also take you right to another video at the end of the current video. Not to mention even more suggestions shown in seconds before the next video starts playing.

However, it is not uncommon for these recommendations to be often inappropriate, when it comes to topics that users really don’t care about.

To address the issue, YouTube says that users can help tailor recommendations by using the “dislike” button, “not interested” in recommendations, and removing content from watch or usage history. option to “stop recommending” a specific channel.

Nghiên cứu mới: Người dùng không thể thực sự thay đổi các đề xuất của YouTube - Ảnh 1.

The tools that YouTube recommends are not as effective as users expect.

But according to a study conducted by the Mozilla Foundation, using an open source tool called “RegretsReporter”, they found that the aforementioned feature buttons are largely ineffective in actually changing change what shows up in the platform’s video recommendations. The conclusion was reached after analyzing nearly half a billion videos that the participants watched. The open source tool has placed a generic “stop recommending” button on the page, which automatically selects one of four options as part of different groups of participants, including the one controlled to not send feedback to YouTube itself.

As a result, despite using the various options YouTube has outlined, these buttons are not considered effective in removing “bad” recommendations, while still recommending content directly to users. expressed dissatisfaction. The most effective tool is to ask YouTube not to recommend content from a particular channel and remove the content from the user’s watch history. The “don’t care” button has the least effect on recommendations.

Nghiên cứu mới: Người dùng không thể thực sự thay đổi các đề xuất của YouTube - Ảnh 2.

Usage rate of YouTube video recommendation features, according to the report.

YouTube later issued a statement on The Verge, criticizing the report. A representative for the platform said that the failure to filter out all topics was to avoid having a “negative impact” on viewers. And said that Mozilla’s report did not take into account “how our system actually works”.

However, based on the numbers, it is clear that users are quite frustrated with YouTube’s recommendation algorithms like this. It shows in the rise and growth of short-form video apps, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube’s own Shorts. These platforms are designed to increase user engagement above all else and almost exclusively show things that users like, and this seems to have had a powerful effect.

Mozilla’s research also calls for YouTube to make the drivers on its platform “easier to understand and access”, while putting users in the “driver’s seat” with full discretion over recommendations. their own content.

Refer to 9to5google, TheVerge

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Source : Genk