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YouTube's algorithm is steering viewers away from anti-vaccine videos

YouTube's algorithm is steering viewers away from anti-vaccine videos


BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty Images




A new study of YouTube's recommendation algorithms shows the filter bubble is in full effect.




A user's history watching misinformation about key conspiracy theories results in more videos being pumped toward them.




But one exception is lies about vaccines. "YouTube might be reacting differently to different topics based on the pressures they're getting from the media," said the author.




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YouTube's propensity to push people down rabbit holes has been repeatedly probed by journalists and academics alike, and a new research paper shows the filter bubble in action.Tanushree Mitra and colleagues at Virginia Tech University's department of computer science analyzed the way YouTube's algorithmic recommendations pushed videos on lightning rod topics for conspiracy theories.The academics looked at how YouTube suggests videos related to 9/11 conspiracy theories, chem trails, the idea the Earth is flat, that we didn't land on the Moon, and that vaccines are harmful or don't work.
YouTube's algorithm is steering viewers away from anti-vaccine videos


Mateusz Slodkowski/Getty Images
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