YouTuber CGP Grey suspects that YouTube is preventing one of his most popular recent videos on American Indians from appearing in its Trending section.
CGP Grey shared a screenshot of his YouTube analytics which show that within the two hours of being uploaded, the video was the most popular of his last 10 uploads by far. In less than two hours, it had accrued 91,000 more views than the second most popular video on the list and over 500,000 total views.
So, the YouTube algorithm weirdness begins: my video promoting an email list gets to trending, but my video about Indians does not, despite YouTube's dashboard analytics saying the Indian video is the best performing of the last ten videos I've uploaded. pic.twitter.com/aEUyFZE6ch
— CGP Grey 🐝 (@cgpgrey) November 24, 2019
Despite the early surge in views, this video on American Indians didn’t make Trending. However, the second video on the list, which was posted at a similar time to the video on American Indians, made it to number three on Trending. This second video discusses CGP Grey’s recent suspension from YouTube and promotes his email list.
Now, I don’t want to get all conspiratorial here, but I’m beginning to suspect that ‘American Indians’ are flagged as a too-controversial-for-trending topic on YouTube. pic.twitter.com/4JfCEW4ypu
— CGP Grey 🐝 (@cgpgrey) November 25, 2019
CGP Grey suggests that the video may have been omitted from Trending because YouTube flagged the topic of American Indians as being too controversial to trend.
YouTube’s Trending often draws the ire of creators. While the name suggests that it surfaces the most popular content among viewers, many suspect that a lot of the content on this tab is curated.
In October, YouTube added to these suspicions by tweeting out that it wants at least half the videos on Trending to come from YouTubers – a goal that suggests YouTube can control which videos appear on Trending based on whether they’re deemed to be from YouTubers.
Do you have any idea how dumb this sounds @SusanWojcicki ?
YouTube will not be the number 1 video site in the future.. You are going to have a mass exit to another site and everyone one of you that made these dumb calls will he fired for making the google stock crash! pic.twitter.com/gkQcUCCB8W
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) October 19, 2019
A study released in May also showed that 95% of the time, YouTube promotes legacy media outlets in Trending and not YouTubers. The study found that videos from YouTubers often had to get up to 10x the amount of views of legacy media outlets in order to hit Trending – another indicator that this Trending tab is curated and used to push content that isn’t naturally popular with viewers.