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YouTube's Dislike Button Rarely Shifts Recommendations

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Said Mozilla's Jesse McCrosky, “Maybe we should actually respect human autonomy and dignity here, and listen to what people are telling us, instead of just stuffing down their throat whatever we think they’re going to eat.”


Mozilla Foundation researchers found pressing the "dislike" button on a YouTube video does little to improve the videos chosen by the YouTube platform's recommender algorithm.

The researchers analyzed over 567 million YouTube video recommendations, and used Mozilla's RegretReporter tool to examine the recommendation algorithm.

They found use of the dislike button reduced similar, unwanted recommendations by just 12%.

Selecting "Don't recommend channel" was 43% effective in reducing unwanted recommendations, while pressing "not interested" was shown to be 11% effective, and removing videos from the user’s watch history was 29% effective.

Mozilla's Jesse McCrosky said YouTube should incorporate greater transparency, and should provide users with more control over what they see.

From The New York Times
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