Is YouTube Still a Radicalizer? An Exploratory Study on Autoplay and Recommendation

Markmann S, Grimme C


Abstract
This work investigates the functioning of YouTube's recommendation system with focus on the autoplay function. The autoplay function was often referred to as "radicalizer" in the past, as it was considered to lead towards more extremist content. By an automated data collection through browser remote control, we simulate different usage scenarios (allowing and disallowing autoplay) with personalized accounts as well as with anonymous users. This leads to multiple recommendation paths, which are analyzed. The presented analyses suggest that while YouTube continues to rely on familiar mechanisms for capturing users' attention, ongoing public criticism with respect to the recommendation system has seemingly led to changes in YouTube's algorithm parameterization and to more cautious recommendations.



Publication type
Forschungsartikel in Sammelband (Konferenz)

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2021

Conference
Multidisciplinary International Symposium on Disinformation in Open Online Media (MISDOOM)

Venue
Oxford, UK

Editor
Bright J, Giachanou A, Spaiser V, Spezzano F, George A, Pavliuc A

Start page
50

End page
65

Publisher
Springer International Publishing

Place
Cham

Language
English

ISSN
978-3-030-87031-7

DOI

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