Social networking apps continuously provide users with content they are supposed to enjoy based on algorithms that exploit their past scrolling habits.
Many people assume that clicking the like or dislike button on a post is factors in the recipe. The mindset is that showing preference or not provides some control over what they’ll see on that service in the future.
But a new study published today shows that you have less control than you might expect.
The non-profit Mozilla has released what it calls “the largest experimental test of YouTube by independent researchers,” found that YouTube’s content controls were largely ineffective.
To conduct the study, Mozilla recruited nearly 23,000 participants and analyzed nearly 568 million videos. The organization, which owns a subsidiary that manages and develops the Internet browser Firefox, also surveyed more than 2,700 people about their experience with the platform.
Research focuses on YouTube owner claims Alphabet that users can exercise some control over the content they view.
“There are several ways to influence these recommendations and search results,” reads a page in the YouTube help center. “You can remove specific videos from your watch history and searches from your search history. You can also pause your watch and search history, or start over by clearing your watch and search history.”
But through its research, Mozilla found that these actions do not have a significant impact on the algorithms that ultimately provide users with recommended content.
Clicking “don’t recommend a channel” is the most successful of those tools, with a success rate of 43%, according to the study. Clicking “don’t care” on a video is only 11 percent effective, while disliking it is 12 percent effective. Removing a video from a person’s watch history was only 29% effective.
Alphabet not responding Luckrequest comment.
Mozilla, founded in 2003, sees itself as a platform “dedicated to helping you take control of your online experience” and promotes the internet as a public good.
“Our main recommendation is that YouTube should allow people to shape what they see,” the organization wrote in its report. “People need to be clearly informed about the steps they can take to influence their recommendations and should be empowered to use those tools.”
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