TheirTube simulates what other people's YouTube feed looks like

July 29, 2020

their-tube.jpg

TheirTube is a YouTube filter bubble simulator that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people's YouTube home page. Each persona simulates a real YouTube user by recreating their viewing history and then displays their recommendation bubble. From their site:

Each of these TheirTube personas is informed by interviews with real YouTube users who experienced similar recommendation bubbles. Six YouTube accounts were created in order to simulate the interviewees' experiences. These accounts subscribe to the channels that the interviewees followed, and watches videos from these channels to reproduce a similar viewing history and a recommendation bubble. Everyday, TheirTube retrieves the recommendations that shows up on their Youtube home page. You can go back and forth the dates to see different results by clicking on the arrow button and also see the viewing history of each persona by clicking "Watch History" button.

It's not exactly news that recommendation engines are crafting people's views, but it is shocking to see just how different and aggressive those differences are. Although I clicked on all six personas and not a single one matched my feed at all. Where are all the videos of microwave pizza reviews? And not a single one that explains how to make a best puppet friend from a used sock? C'mon!

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