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UK Think Tank, Once Funded by US State Department, Calls for Stricter YouTube Censorship

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The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK think tank that was in 2021 awarded a grant by the US State Department and got involved in censoring Americans, has come up with a “research project” that criticizes YouTube.

The target is the platform’s recommendation algorithms, and, according to ISD – which calls itself an extremism researching non-profit – there is a “pattern of recommending right-leaning and Christian videos.”

According to ISD, this is true even if users had not previously watched this type of content.

YouTube’s recommendation system has long been a thorn in the side of similar liberal-oriented groups and media, as apparently that one segment of the giant site that’s not yet “properly” controlled and censored.

With that in mind, it is no surprise that ISD is now producing a four-part “study” and offering its own “recommendations” on how to mend the situation they disfavor.

The group went for creating mock user accounts designed to pretend to be interested in gaming, what ISD calls male lifestyle gurus, mommy vloggers, as well as news in Spanish.

The “personas” built in this way received recommendations on what to watch next that seems to suggest Google video platform’s algorithms are doing what they were built to do – identifying users’ interests and keeping them in that loop.

For example, the account that watched Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson (those would be, “male lifestyle gurus”) got Fox News videos suggested as their next watch.

Another result was that accounts representing “mommy vloggers” but with different political orientations got recommendations in line with that – except ISD complains its personas (built in five days, and then recording recommendations for one month) basically, weren’t kept in the echo chamber tightly enough.

“Despite having watched their respective channels for equal amounts of time, the right-leaning account was later more frequently recommended Fox News than the left-leaning account was recommended MSNBC,” the group said.

More complaints concern YouTube surfacing “health misinformation and other problematic content.” And then there are ISD’s demands of YouTube: increase “moderation” of gaming videos, while giving moderators “updated flags about harmful themes appearing in gaming videos.”

As for more aggressively censoring what is considered health misinformation, the demand is to “consistently enforce health misinformation policy.”

Not only that, but ISD wants YouTube to add new terms to that policy regarding when content gets removed or deleted.

This “update” should come by “creating a definitive upper bound of violations could make enforcement of the policy easier and more consistent,” said ISD.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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