How YouTube’s Shifting (and amazingly stupid) Algorithms Hurt Independent Media


The more programmers write algorithms to dehumanize commerce, in this case Google ad placement, the more the algorithms and their creators start appearing really stupid. The very well paid people who write these algorithms are up against a wall though. Half the reason why this and many other algorithms seem moronic is simply because there is not nearly enough processing speed to gear up with the much smarter code that might actually be called brilliant every so often. The gap here is probably around a million fold. It takes a huge amount of code and processing power for “judgmental” algorithms to appear less than stupid in the real world.

"This is not all the algorithm’s fault. People create these systems, and they are sensitive to bad press and skittish advertisers. :wink:

"Or, at least, he used to. Last month YouTube announced abrupt, vague changes to its automated processes for placing ads across the platform. Ads on Mr. Pakman’s YouTube channel evaporated, dropping to as little as 6 cents a day, and forcing him to set up a crowdfunding page to help cover $20,000 a month in operating costs.

“This is an existential threat to the show,” Mr. Pakman said. “We need that money.”"

“All of that means that new media creators hoping to make a living online need to play by YouTube’s rules, and steer clear of anything “potentially objectionable” — not to real people, who might actually be offended, but to robots. If YouTube wants to fulfill its promise of an online environment where independent creators can make interesting work, it will find a way to scrub ads from truly vile content without penalizing the merely controversial.”