How YouTube’s Shifting Algorithms Hurt Independent Media – NYTimes.com
Since its 2005 debut with the slogan “Broadcast Yourself,” YouTube has positioned itself as a place where any people with camera phones can make a career of their creativity and thrive free of the grip of corporate media gatekeepers. But in order to share in the advertising wealth a user base of more than a billion can provide, independent producers like Mr. Pakman must satisfy the demands of YouTube’s unfeeling, opaque and shifting algorithms.
The architecture of the internet has tremendous influence over what is made, and what is seen; algorithms influence what content spreads further on Facebook and turns up on top of Google searches. YouTube’s process for mechanically pulling ads from videos is particularly concerning, because it takes aim at whole topics of conversation that could be perceived as potentially offensive to advertisers, and because it so often misfires. It risks suppressing political commentary and jokes. It puts the wild, independent internet in danger of becoming more boring than TV.
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