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YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.

  • CrazyMinh
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2 weeks 3 days ago #66498 by CrazyMinh
CrazyMinh created the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
So, I was browsing through some anime review channels, and I decided to watch one about Psycho Pass. For some mysterious reason, YouTube decided to spam the 'watch next' column of the page with- of all dumbass things- Pepper Pig videos. What the actual fuck?

Now, I have never- and will never- have an interest in that show. I have never watched something on YouTube even tangentially related to a cartoon pig, searched anything online related to a cartoon pig, or even watched the bloody thing at all. The only reason I know it exists is because my cousins used to watch it when they were small kids, and I used to babysit them on occasion when I was in High School.

I mean, YouTube does have shitty algorithms compared to their owner, Google. That 'auto-generated subtitles'? It never gets anything right, and is essentially useless. That 'You might also like' feature? It tried to suggest I'd like to watch videos on Fortnite. I despise Fortnite. The other week, the site was convinced I was a devout Justin Bieber fan. For fuck's sake, can Google get their act together and fix this bloody thing? They've spent more time making Google Image's UI progressively worse than actually fixing the issues with their algorithms, or having a customer service system that doesn't assume that you have the time to go through twenty bloody pages to find that there's no way to report that 'Pepper pig videos are spamming my suggestions'. This shit is annoying, unnecessary, and downright confusing.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #66501 by lighttech
lighttech replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.

CrazyMinh wrote: So, I was browsing through some anime review channels, and I decided to watch one about Psycho Pass. For some mysterious reason, YouTube decided to spam the 'watch next' column of the page with- of all dumbass things- Pepper Pig videos. What the actual fuck?

Now, I have never- and will never- have an interest in that show. I have never watched something on YouTube even tangentially related to a cartoon pig, searched anything online related to a cartoon pig, or even watched the bloody thing at all. The only reason I know it exists is because my cousins used to watch it when they were small kids, and I used to babysit them on occasion when I was in High School.

I mean, YouTube does have shitty algorithms compared to their owner, Google. That 'auto-generated subtitles'? It never gets anything right, and is essentially useless. That 'You might also like' feature? It tried to suggest I'd like to watch videos on Fortnite. I despise Fortnite. The other week, the site was convinced I was a devout Justin Bieber fan. For fuck's sake, can Google get their act together and fix this bloody thing? They've spent more time making Google Image's UI progressively worse than actually fixing the issues with their algorithms, or having a customer service system that doesn't assume that you have the time to go through twenty bloody pages to find that there's no way to report that 'Pepper pig videos are spamming my suggestions'. This shit is annoying, unnecessary, and downright confusing.



The word I hear on the net is that Youtube and google have screwed up their own 'algorithms' to mess up and keep searches for President Trump or Conservative Info to a minimum or keep them from being 'top' returns.....gotta keep that 'Trump situation' from happening again. Yet they call for net Neutrality???

An example; you search for "this, with this topic' and even if the video has that 'exact' wording and its 'Conservative'....the results you are indeed looking for might be some 70 listings down or more.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #66502 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
I think it's obvious: since you were looking at Psycho Pass, it thought you would like another animated feature with an alliterative title with two "P"s. <sarcasm>After all, we all know that all double-P titles are essentially the same, don't we?</sarcasm>

As for the suggestion that Google's algorithm is politically biased... I won't dive into that hole. No good thing can come from bringing politics discussion here.

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.

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2 weeks 2 days ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago #66503 by Schol-R-LEA
Schol-R-LEA replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
I've heard exactly the same claims about Liberal/SJ topics getting dropped or demonetized from many on the Left. You can only imagine what the conspiracy theorists of all stripes say, as well.

When in actual fact, they are mostly just trying to optimize ad revenue, and for the most part, politics of any sort are Bad For Business. As a rule, both those hosting ads, and those buying ad time, want an ad base (both the advertisements, and the shows they play alongside) that is as inoffensive as possible, which means anything which is more controversial than the aforementioned Peppa Pig is off the table. The rest is confirmation bias.

@CrazyMinh: I agree that the YouTube algorithms are terrible at predicting what people would want to watch. People are unpredictable? Quelle surprise!

Actually, the real culprit is well known: something like 60% of YouTube traffic is from young children whose parents gave them a tablet and left them to watch on auto-play, YouTube being the Electronic Babysitter of the new generation the same way broadcast television was (and often still is). These viewers tend to grab anything animated regardless of story or quality, and there are quite a few channels (often with very questionable content) set up to take advantage of that, which only reinforces the association with many viewers watching any and all animation. These channels are getting swept out, since most of them are made by video collage with little concern for copyright - basically being an automated form of YouTube Poop but made for an audience which cares only for funny pictures on the screen (so, YouTube Poop, amirite?) - but a lot of them are still around, and they pop up faster than Google can swat them.

Since YouTube's algorithms have recognized that a lot of animation tends to get watched without consideration of story, content, or even appropriateness, it can sometimes just pigeonhole someone this way for Reasons.

EDIT: I wanted to post this video from the start, but I couldn't find it until now. It's a couple years old, and some of this has been addressed by Google, but it still says something about the YouTube algorithms that this was ever a thing.


This ties into the larger and ever-present problem of Search Engine Optimization, something which - in point of fact - Google spends a large amount of the development effort to quash - they don't like paying something for nothing any more than anyone else. There are armies of experts out there whose sole job is to generate 'link juice' for anything and everything in order to earn Ad-Sense revenue regardless of what the pages or videos are nominally about. Much of the oddity of the YouTube algorithm comes out of people trying to game the algorithm, and YouTube's attempts to filter out such SEO nonsense without undercutting their own ad revenues. By now, this has left The Algorithm as a maze of twisty little code passages, all incomprehensible.


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Last Edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by Schol-R-LEA.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #66506 by Kettlekorn
Kettlekorn replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
If you hover your mouse over those videos in the list, three dots appear in the top-right of that entry. If you click those dots, a menu appears with a "Not interested" option you can use to help educate the algorithm about your preferences.

I think I've only ever used it once; YouTube has me pegged pretty well as-is.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #66507 by Astrodragon
Astrodragon replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
Just to point out, Schol, that what you're referring to isn't actually SEO. Its more people who don't actually know what they are doing trying to load web pages and links to get rated high.
It doesn't work well, because Google keeps changing stuff, and you have to know how and why and what the real results are.

However if you do know what you are doing, the worst Google does is slow things down for a few days. Which is why my wife gets hired by big-name companies to do SEO for them :D But its by no means uncommon for Google to shoot themselves in the foot, or get an unexpected outcome. Which is one reason why they keep what they are doing secret, I mean they are infallible, right?

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2 weeks 2 days ago #66517 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
There is legitimate search engine optimization, which is making sure that spiders can actually figure out what your site is about and what is the main content in each page (which doesn't yield big jumps in the short run, but is more like betting on a slow, steady growth) and then there are the people who try gaming the system... which may get them big results in the short run but can result in a negative score later on, kicking your site to page 487 of 400.

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.

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2 weeks 2 days ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago #66522 by Schol-R-LEA
Schol-R-LEA replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
Just so, Sir Lee, and sadly, the latter is what the sort of people (for lack of a more descriptive term) who use phrases such as 'link juice' usually have in mind.

Out, damnéd Spot! Bad Doggy!
Last Edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by Schol-R-LEA.

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2 weeks 22 hours ago #66536 by Mister D
Mister D replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
One other element that you may not know about, Minh, is that there are a large amount of Youtube vids that are algorithmically generated in order to maximise the revenue for the video owners.

If you watch a few of them, you can see the difference between a video that is created as a story-telling medium, and a video that is created to maximise advertising revenue.

It's an interesting approach towards use of AI, both in defining the algorithms, and in trying to game the SEO.

One strand in Freefall had that AI were never fully trusted due to the way that AI were used as spammers, generators of click-bait, and, generators of clicks. :D

It'll be interesting to see how this pattern is developed within Gen2. :D


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1 week 5 days ago - 1 week 5 days ago #66549 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: YouTube has gone insane. Sorta.
Youtube's algorithm has been broken for ages. Any quick trip to the "Trending Videos" pages should tell you that. There are a number of creators who figured out how to perfectly use the algorithm to rocket any of their new videos immediately quite high into that list. Despite having lower view counts and probably a ton of orphan subscribers (subscribed a long time ago, stopped watching their videos years ago).

Granted, not all of them are bad, some are pretty enjoyable and make a lot of quality content for their target demographic. But there's plenty that are exploitative of their viewers.

And it's all about money for everyone involved, and the diminishing returns Google has been providing to its content creators is driving all of them to effectively "min-max" cost, views, and engagement.

So the recommendation list is equally broken. "Some people watched this, and went on to watch that, so everyone viewing this subject will probably want to watch that...and oh by the way, this is trending, and you've never watched any of their videos, but you should because it will generate more and better ad revenue for us over all."
Or, so-and-so YT Personality reacted to a naturally trending video, so therefore, it must also be recommended, and they're popular, so they top the list in that column, and correspondingly trends.

It's very calculated and sociopathic when you start to break it down. This video covered at least one part of it. Even with something as innocent as cakes.
Last Edit: 1 week 5 days ago by Katssun.

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