As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise, YouTube has ramped up its efforts to funnel users to “authoritative sources” (legacy media outlets that YouTube deems to be trustworthy) for content about the virus.
YouTube has been doing this by increasing the prominence of these authoritative sources in search and recommendations for coronavirus content and placing a coronavirus news shelf on the home page which promotes coronavirus content from legacy media outlets.
We want everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a COVID-19 news shelf on our homepage in 16 countries. We’ll expand to more countries, as well. pic.twitter.com/nivKDZ2mHo
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) March 19, 2020
While YouTube continues to make changes that push users to content from these authoritative sources, many of the site’s users prefer content from independent creators who offer an alternative perspective.
And now Mark Miscavage, the creator of the De-Mainstream YouTube extension which allows users to blacklist mainstream media sites for a more authentic experience, has released an update which makes it even easier to surface content from independent creators.
Before this update, De-Mainstream YouTube would block mainstream media outlets based on a list.
If a mainstream media outlet wasn’t on the list, users could request it be added to the block list but there was no option for users to add outlets to the block list themselves.
With this latest update, users of De-Mainstream YouTube can now add individual channels to their block list and also create custom block lists.
https://t.co/2OZrs4HiK5 just updated to include ability for people to add custom block lists and add individual channels to block as well
— Mark M. (@MarkMiscavage) March 28, 2020
Blocking individual channels is quick and easy and can be achieved by right-clicking on the channel and then selecting “Block Channel” from the De-Mainstream YouTube menu.
submitted v1.0.4 of https://t.co/2OZrs4HiK5 "De-Mainstream YouTube" extension for firefox and chrome (they are both pending review now)
– 100+ new channels added
– ability to right-click to add new channel to block list pic.twitter.com/JGP1reisKp
— Mark M. (@MarkMiscavage) February 17, 2020
The update means De-Mainstream YouTube users can now fully tailor their YouTube recommendations, specifically decide which channels they want to see videos from, and update their individual blocking preferences at any time.
The browser extension is open source and currently available for Chromium-based desktop browsers and the desktop version of Firefox.