Your dislikes on YouTube may not mean much, here’s why

If you dislike a certain video on YouTube, that may not mean much if you think the dislike will help you in getting fewer recommendations like the video you just gave a thumbs down to, a Mozilla study has claimed. The study used RegretsReporter, an open-source web extension, to collect information regarding YouTube recommendations from thousands of users (22,722 users to be exact), as per a report by Engadget.
“From Dec 2021 to June 2022, RegretsReporter participants shared 567,880,195 video recommendations with us. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Exeter, we used a machine learning model we built to analyze video similarity. Through this approach, we were able to study what kind of effect YouTube’s tools have on video recommendations for real users of the platform.”, said the report.
The study found that the “dislike” button only stopped 12% of unwanted video recommendations. Going for the “not interested” option stopped just 11% of bad recommendations, and choosing “remove from watch history” stopped 29% of such recommendations. The most effective of them all turned out to be the “don’t recommend channel” itself, which stopped 43% of unwanted video recommendations.
Some users, as per the report, have taken their own measures to prevent being targeted by YouTube videos they do not want to watch. These measures include using incognito mode and VPNs, downloading privacy browser extensions and deleting the browser cookies on a regular basis. Some even set up new YouTube accounts to watch specific YouTube videos.
The report concludes by saying that “YouTube’s user controls do not work for many people” and based on the data they received, “user controls don’t seem to have a major effect on how videos are recommended.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.