What YouTube recommendations look like for others

July 30, 2020

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Watch enough YouTube, and you end up in a bubble of videos catered to everything you like and believe in. TheirTube, by Tomo Kihara and Polina Alexeenko and funded by the Mozilla Foundation, imagines the point of view of six personas:

Each of these TheirTube personas is informed by interviews with real YouTube users who experienced similar recommendation bubbles. Six YouTube accounts were created in order to simulate the interviewees’ experiences. These accounts subscribe to the channels that the interviewees followed, and watches videos from these channels to reproduce a similar viewing history and a recommendation bubble. Everyday, TheirTube retrieves the recommendations that shows up on their Youtube home page.

In case you’re wondering what my YouTube homepage looks like — and I know you are — just watch every J. Kenji López-Alt upload, and you’ll be just about there.