Recent YouTube algorithm change has consequently raised viewers’ and creators’ concerns and made them furious.
In a statement given to Bloomberg, Ivy Choi a YouTube spokesperson stated, “We make hundreds of changes every year to make it easier for people to find what they want to watch on YouTube. We recently made one such change that improves the ability for users to find quality family content.”
The algorithm changes coincide with FTC executing an investigation into the platform.
In a press release subjecting a potential FTC Investigation into YouTube and Children’s Privacy, Senator Edward J. Markey stated “An FTC investigation into YouTube’s treatment of children online is long overdue. It is no secret that kids flock to YouTube every day, but the company has yet to take the necessary steps to protect its youngest users. I am pleased to see reports that the FTC is working to hold YouTube accountable for its actions.”
He further added that the investigation would look into topics like marketing that pushes kids into the consumer culture, amplification of harmful content on the platform and more.
While it’s unclear that the algorithm changes is a step towards addressing this investigation, the algorithm reportedly surfacing more family-friendly and kids’ content does points fingers in that direction.
Consequently, the platform has gained a lot of negative reactions from viewers and creators both.
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Viewers have mentioned that they are seeing a feed full of videos they don’t want to see.
One user mentioned that the algorithm changes only benefit ad-friendly channels.
Another user mentioned that the ‘Not Interested’ option on recommendations doesn’t work too.
The change is not just harming viewing habits of the users on the platform but it is also harming creators in the platform.
A creator mentioned that her views dropped by 70% after the algorithm change.
The creators earning their livelihood from the platform are majorly affected by it.
All in all, neither the viewers nor the creators(the most important parts of the YouTube ecosystem) are happy with this change.
A real-world consequence of this algorithm change is that it has lead a person named Jason Anderson to file a petition on change.org to ‘Fire Susan Wojcicki as YouTube CEO’. This petition has been signed by more than 45,000 supporters.