Research from BKC faculty associate Virgilio Almeida and colleagues paints a comprehensive picture of user radicalization on YouTube and provide methods to transparently audit the platform and its recommender system.
“Non-profits and the media claim there is a radicalization pipeline on YouTube. Its content creators would sponsor fringe ideas, and its recommender system would steer users towards edgier content,” the authors write. “Yet, the supporting evidence for this claim is mostly anecdotal, and there are no proper measurements of the influence of YouTube's recommender system. In this work, we conduct a large scale audit of user radicalization on YouTube.”