Change in YouTube – level 3

04-02-2019 15:00

YouTube is rewriting its algorithms so that fewer conspiracy theory videos will be recommended to users. The company says that its goal is to give users a better experience by reducing content that ‘could misinform users in harmful ways’.

For example, this concerns videos which promote phoney miracle cures for serious illnesses, videos which claim that the earth is flat, or videos which make false claims about events like 9/11 (the attack on the World Trade Centre). One user on YouTube, Joshua Cox, commented that YouTube’s move was about censorship.

The move may be motivated by criticism which YouTube faced last year – a video suggested that David Hogg, a student who survived a school shooting, was an actor. The video was viewed over 200,000 times before YouTube removed it.

The change will affect less than 1 per cent of videos, but users around the world watch an average of 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day.

Difficult words: algorithm (the rules which a program or a computer follows), conspiracy theory (a term which is used for explanations of events which are different from explanations that most people believe; or explanations about things which are not possibly true), phoney (fake).

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