A new report alleges that YouTube changed its algorithm when it came to searches for Brie Larson.
Slash Gear reports, “It has silently labeled “Brie Larson” as news and, lo and behold, trolling videos have been buried by actual authoritative news on the actress.”
Their report appears to stem from Twitter user Julia Alexander who provided a side by side screen shot with the same search words of “brie larson” being used. As you can see below, the results are dramatically different.
This is kind of a fascinating discovery: YouTube seems to have changed the immediate “Brie Larson” search results to News. That pushes up authoritative sources and, in turn, pushes troll or MRA-style video rants pretty far down the page. Here’s what it was versus now. pic.twitter.com/ifw9JjXQie
— julia 🤔 alexander (@loudmouthjulia) March 7, 2019
YouTube promised to spend $25 million to fight fake news on its platform as part of a $300 million Google News Initiative launched last March.
According to CNET the promised spending would allows users to see “previews and links to news articles and their sources in its search results, along with a reminder that facts and details can change in developing stories.”
As for Disney’s Captain Marvel film it has been controversial to say the least. A number of individuals took to Rotten Tomatoes to indicate they were uninterested in seeing Captain Marvel using the websites “Want To See” score.
A number of media outlets perceived this “Want To See” score as an actual review and claimed these individuals were “review bombing” Captain Marvel.
In response to these numerous articles, Rotten Tomatoes redesigned their website specifically pointing out that the “Want To See” score is different from the actual “Audience Score.”
Fandango president Paul Yanover would confirm this in an interview with CNET.
He clearly states, “Expressing that you don’t want to see a movie is not a review.”
As for whether the changes were the direct result of the criticism being lodged against Captain Marvel he was a little less clear.
“(The changes) are not simply a reaction to, ‘Oh, gee, there’s some noise created around (certain movies).”
However, CNET writer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper writes:
“Yes, some adjustments are aimed as (sp?) what he calls “noise reduction,” when high-profile films such as Captain Marvel or Star Wars movies attract trolls with agendas. But as a whole, these changes are part of a long-term site strategy, he said.”
Not only has the film stirred controversy with popular review aggregate site, Rotten Tomatoes, but Larson’s own comments while promoting the film also came under fire.
Larson’s comments regarding film critics being “overwhelmingly white male” even inspired One America News Network’s Jack Posobiec to launch the #AlitaChallenge encouraging moviegoers to see Alita: Battle Angel instead of Captain Marvel on opening weekend.
Do you think YouTube specifically altered its algorithm to combat Captain Marvel “trolls?” What do you make of this alleged change?