By Chico Q. Camargo4 minute Read
Does YouTube create extremists? A recent study caused arguments among scientists by arguing that the algorithms that power the site don’t help radicalize people by recommending ever more extreme videos, as has been suggested in recent years.
The paper, submitted to open-access journal First Monday but yet to be formally peer-reviewed, analyzed video recommendations received by different types of channels. It claimed that YouTube’s algorithm favors mainstream media channels over independent content, concluding that radicalization has more to do with the people who create harmful content than the site’s algorithm.
Specialists in the field were quick in responding to the study, with some criticizing the paper’s methods and others arguing the algorithm was one of several important factors and that data science alone won’t give us the answer.
The problem with this discussion is that we can’t really answer the question of what role YouTube’s…