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Study Suggests Some Podcasts May Have Head Start In YouTube Recommendations.


Podcasters producing shows with conservative views or Christian content have a better shot of finding new audiences on YouTube according to a new study. Researchers at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London set up fake accounts to see what type of content YouTube would recommend during a one-month period. The personas included gaming, male lifestyle gurus, mommy vloggers and Spanish-language news. It says the Google-owned video site actively recommends the conservative content genres to users more than other content categories, regardless of whether viewers have watched right-leaning or Christian videos in the past. For instance, men who watched lifestyle videos were most often recommended Fox News clips.


“This research shows that YouTube is showing its users large number of videos featuring content unrelated to their interests,” the study says. “Analysts also found a lack of conclusive evidence to suggest that the age and gender of accounts impacted the kind of content recommended, but they did find evidence that young users were exposed to inappropriate and potentially harmful content as a result, including videos related to self-harm and suicide.”


A YouTube spokesperson told NBC News that it is difficult to draw conclusions based on the test accounts created by the researchers, which may not be consistent with the behavior of real people.


“YouTube’s recommendation system is trained to raise high-quality content on the home page, in search results, and the Watch Next panel for viewers of all ages across the platform,” she said. ”We continue to invest significantly in the policies, products, and practices to protect people from harmful content, especially younger viewers.”

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