As a keen lover of Youtube for educational and entertainment purposes, I have often wondered why certain videos appear in the ‘channels you might like’ section. Both myself and my daugther share the same Youtube account so there is generally a mix of music (my personal favourites), Minecraft (Stampylonghead) and Mario (my daughter loves Mario!) videos on the homepage along with suggestions to similar channels. This ‘cycle of anticipation’ (Gillespie 2012) from Youtube certainly ‘predicts’ the kind of videos we like to watch.
The ‘Recommended’ videos section did pop up some strange offerings such as ‘Worlds 10 Most Mysterious Pictures Ever Taken’ and ‘Korean Girls opinions on Nicki Minaj ‘Anaconda’, however I do remember watching a video similiar to the latter…
A lot of the content condensed into the recomended videos section is a mish-mash of our general Youtube viewing allowing for little new experiences as well as ahuge filtering of a site which offers so much more than frivilous video game walk throughs and scantily clad booty shakin’, however, we need to remember that there are ‘institutional choices from humans’ behind the cold mechanisms’ (Gillespie 2012).
Of course there is always the ‘Popular on Youtube’ section which offers a daily update of new ‘trending’ videos, generally entertainment, video games, media mishaps and ‘fly of the wall’ type videos as well as the usual aray of blogs from hyper-active 18-year olds who have more subscribers than The Guardian. Are these videos dumbing down a generation who use the internet for the vast majority of their information? And, is it Youtubes responsibility to worry about ‘dumbing down’, and is there a ‘promise of algorithmic objectivity’ (Gillespie 2012)? Social media channels have an opportunity to promote positive ideologies through their filtering systems, but are they making the most of this chance?