Investigation 4: Spanish-Language News Consumers

Pulling Back the Curtain: An Exploration of YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm

Author: Cooper Gatewood

Published: 18 June 2024

This is the fourth investigation in ISD’s Pulling Back the Curtain series which explores different aspects of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. The series consists of four separate investigations examining the recommendations sent to eight U.S.-based YouTube accounts registered with varying ages, genders, and interests over one month. This report examines the recommendations sent to two accounts with an interest in Spanish langauge news. 

The first investigation examines teenage accounts with an interest in gaming. The second explores accounts with an interest in “male lifestyle gurus”, while investigation three looks into the recommendations sent to users with an interest in Mommy vloggers. 

An executive summary summarizes the findings across all four investigations and provides an overview of the project and platform policy recommendations.

Cooper Gatewood was a Senior Manager within ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit, focusing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper also developed monitoring and evaluation frameworks to measure the impact of many of ISD’s intervention projects. Cooper contributed to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed to influence and disrupt election processes. Cooper holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Masters of International Security from Sciences Po and is fluent in Spanish and French, as well as speaking proficient Japanese.

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Pulling Back the Curtain: An Exploration of YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm

This is the executive summary of ISD’s Pulling Back the Curtain series which explores different aspects of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. The series consists of four separate investigations examining the recommendations sent to eight U.S.-based YouTube accounts registered with varying ages, genders, and interests over one month. This report summarizes the findings across all four investigations and provides an overview of the project and platform policy recommendations.

Investigation 3: Mommy Vlogger Personas

This is the third investigation in ISD’s Pulling Back the Curtain series which explores different aspects of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. The series consists of four separate investigations examining the recommendations sent to eight U.S.-based YouTube accounts registered with varying ages, genders, and interests over one month. This report examines the recommendations sent to two accounts with an interest in Mommy vloggers.