Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Say you want to watch a news clip about Confederate monuments. You search YouTube and choose a video from what appears to be a randomly generated list of results. When the video ends, YouTube autoplays another video and recommends dozens more—and likely they’re the sort of thing you actually might watch, because that list is generated by algorithms that process your YouTube viewing history; the videos, tweets, and posts you’ve liked on social media; and your behavior elsewhere on the web. Seems helpful, right? What’s the problem?