Tricky YouTube History

Today I observed the teaching of the Russian instructor. It’s an official thing we are obligated to do, so I’m not singling her out in any way.

It was really funny because the Russian teacher decided to show a YouTube video with an innocent weather forecast. (Today’s vocabulary topic in all Beginner language classes is weather). But do you know what happens after a video on YouTube finishes playing? YouTube helpfully turns on a video it thinks you will enjoy based on your viewing history.

What do you think turned on at the end of the Russian teacher’s weather video?

Yes, of course.

Putin’s big ugly mug with a legend “Here’s an analysis of Putin’s brilliant speech from today.”

Similar videos jumped out upon the second and the third listening of the forecast video.

She’s a great teacher, though. The students are clearly learning a lot.


4 thoughts on “Tricky YouTube History

  1. Like

  2. There you go again with that solipsistic point of view! 🙂

    The algorithm wants you to watch highly addictive and distracting porn.

    On YouTube, that consists of things that are otherwise not actual porn, but serve the addiction all the same.

    I wanted to see what the big deal was about a certain “Bald and Bankrupt” tourist getting ordered to vacate Russia, and so I watched a few videos. (Turns out he made an unscheduled and unapproved visit to see the Buran launch facility, and the Russians eventually caught up with him.)

    But then the drug dealer came out and offered me a few hits of War Porn.

    No thanks, had enough of that at close range, so awesome of you to offer me this, algorithm!


    So it’s not the Russian teacher, it’s the fact that she watches videos that include references to Russia, and the algorithm hopes you get addicted to Russian War Porn.

    The algorithm for you probably offers a lot of this shit as well.

    It’s based on your network address block, your search history, and several other things, but don’t take it too personally that you’re a profitable business for addiction merchants.

    But it also has to do with such statistical horrors as “click conversion rates”.

    Back at the old place, before the VPNs and such like, the addiction merchants were trying to entice me with Maybach, Aston Martin, God-tier audiophile gear, business trips to Dubai, exclusive word-of-mouth only medical clinics, and so on.

    That was mostly because of who my neighbours were.

    I’d like to say that the algorithm tries to be aspirational, but I’m a bit concerned about what this means for people who are courted to peruse War Porn.

    It’s still trying for aspirational stuff for me, BTW, it’s just that it’s trying to get me to watch videos about renovating cheap but charming little Showa era houses in semi-rural Japan.

    And I do mean cheap: imagine 20k USD houses that aren’t “trap houses” and are in fairly safe semi-rural areas. The real estate developer in me wants to get addicted, and the algorithm knows it.

    So I’m taking that instead to mean that in lieu of aspirational porn, the algorithm finds something else that your inner demons secretly might like. 🙂


  3. “YouTube helpfully turns on a video it thinks you will enjoy based on your viewing history”

    I that ads that appear as pop ups at the end of the video are suggestions by the channel itself and not based on previous viewing history (those show up in other places like sidebar or when you open the site).
    A weather report sounds like its from a (probably state) tv channel so linking to pro-putain things would be expected.
    It could be that she totally supports putain but I’m not sure if pop up ads are an explanation…


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