Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm - (Part 1/3) Smarter Every Day 213

  • Published: 31 March 2019
  • My first video of a 3 part series on "coordinated inauthentic behavior". Thanks to ExpressVPN for sponsoring this series. Get 3 months free with 12-month plan at Click here if you're interested in subscribing:
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    Renée Diresta is a Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust, where she researches unintended consequences of algorithms and works towards helping machines make better decisions. Renee also writes about disinformation and the changing face of information war — check out her essay “The Digital Maginot Line” ( — and is a contributor to Wired Ideas (

    Here are examples of some of the videos in question

    (Open these videos in incognito mode so you don’t mess up your algorithm.) - 298k views 8k views

    To say this presentation style is shady is an understatement. Quite interesting. - 107k views

    Here’s one of the channels:

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    Ambiance and musicy things by: Gordon McGladdery did the outro music the video.
    The thought is it my efforts making videos will help educate the world as a whole, and one day generate enough revenue to pay for my kids college education. Until then if you appreciate what you've learned in this video and the effort that went in to it, please SHARE THE VIDEO!

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    Warm Regards,

  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 11 205

  • SmarterEveryDay
    SmarterEveryDay   8 months back

    Thank you for taking the time to watch the video. This is video 1 of a 3 part series on Social Media Algorithm manipulation and countermeasures. Even if you're aware of these issues, odds are your friends and parents are not. I'm hoping we can use this video series to educate an incredible amount of people about the realities of algorithmic manipulation online. The engineers tasked with working on these problems take their jobs very seriously and they are truly the unsung heroes in this fight. I'd be honored if you shared this video with someone you love.

    I'm on Twitter at:
    You can subscribe here for the rest of the series (in process):

    Note: This is a completely apolitical video. I don't care what side of the aisle you're on, you're a target of these types of attacks. I'd like to say thank you to everyone at these three companies (and those beyond) willing to discuss this very sensitive topic, and giving me your trust. This touches many different areas.... technical engineering, human interactions, artificial intelligence, IT, financial incentives, law enforcement, attempts to manipulate others, etc. This is an absolutely fascinating topic and I believe it's imperative that we talk about these issues more openly so even the most lackadaisical social media user is aware of them. I have realized lately that in general, people online are very eager to become angry at these platforms whenever there is the slightest misstep, without truly understanding the impossible engineering tasks these individuals have been given.

    I'd like to thank Renée Diresta for taking the time to discuss these issues openly with me. She wrote a wonderful piece called the "Digital Maginot Line" ( For those unfamiliar, the maginot line was an amazing undertaking to create a defensive front, which was easily sidestepped. It's worth your time.

    • Little Vince Son channel Toy Review
      Little Vince Son channel Toy Review  3 weeks back

      @Chris Vagarasoto please like and sub my channel

    • Little Vince Son channel Toy Review
      Little Vince Son channel Toy Review  3 weeks back

      Please like and sub my channel for my son

    • Nate Spurgat
      Nate Spurgat  1 months back

      alright, here's an interesting story: I spend a lot of time on Youtube, partly facilitated by the recommended videos on the right side as you scroll down. Interestingly, despite having been subscribed to Destin for a while, his videos almost never show up in my recommended.

    • Graphene Pixel
      Graphene Pixel  1 months back

      Will you please share this to watchman YouTube channels. This social media manipulation is demonic, and it needs to be tooken very seriously.

    • Michael Preston
      Michael Preston  1 months back

      @5:48, both, actually.

  • Eric Layton
    Eric Layton  10 hours back

    Thanks Destin!

    • Nocturnal Keyboard Warrior

      Pause and observe the fonts at 5:10 and you know which country is behind

      • James Watson
        James Watson  1 days back

        This is interesting except Google/YouTube Facebook, and Twitter are doing their own manipulation that is devious and on sided politically and with a social ideology that is dangerous. I'm with you on preferring people talking rather that computer generated. However many companies including Google uses computer generated voice. All these platforms are being used for dangerous puropses. They are trying to control your decisions. Who is doing it? The platform controllers them selves. Think about these platforms blocking stories about Laura Engles Wilder. Seems odd. But they called it racist. They block good stories about Trump & promote stories that are negative about Trump. Also across the board the favor the left over the right. The algorithm is programed with bias. You made me very smart in engineering but when it comes to understanding the manipulation from Big Tech you are very naive.

        • wayne rickard
          wayne rickard  1 days back

          youtube has taken down all or most of the flat earth videoes WHY? Too scary?..btw..question everything that the wizards of the web tell you..WWG1WGA,, let all speak

          • Ryan Pickering
            Ryan Pickering  2 days back

            Well I certainly feel smarter. Thanks for this.

            • cocojumbo4
              cocojumbo4  2 days back

              So cute! 🙂 I watched this thing till the end hoping to hear something new....u know...being an engineer and all. Among other things, I was very curious to know what big secret you uncovered and if you did, how come this video is still there 7 months later. Oh well, pretty simple: now we have "an engineer" giving us technical details about how it's done, but in the end supporting the same old narrative that has been pushed all along for the past few years, by the same people: "outside forces are trying to hurt us" and social media are also victims. Yeah...
              You tried to make it look like such an in-depth analysis on the matter, but I think you stopped a bit short. Are you sure you included everyone in those "outside groups"? Don't know...I'm thinking something false and something flag...maybe/also !?
              Ok, enough. Cheers my engineer!

              • Stephen
                Stephen  3 days back

                Bless you, Sir. 🙏

                • whoispriest
                  whoispriest  3 days back

                  i want to manipulate some of you to sub to my channel.

                  • eldhose poulose
                    eldhose poulose  3 days back

                    Who are THEY?

                    • Jack Jones
                      Jack Jones  3 days back

                      Study Edward Bernays you're all being played dasvidaniya.

                      • Earl
                        Earl  3 days back

                        I do everything off of my cell phone I hardly know how to use a computer, for that matter I barely know how to use my cell phone:)
                        I watch YouTube and search on Google and do texting and phone calls. And I pay my phone bills online, otherwise I'm a snail mail person.
                        Is the VPN something I need to use on my phone?

                        • Space Monkey
                          Space Monkey  3 days back

                          I’m authentically engaging your content. Cool topic and coverage. Thanks for making me smarter.

                          • CuckerTarlson
                            CuckerTarlson  4 days back

                            Not to belittle your point and add to our conflict and help the algorithm, but I think you're grossly missing the point. YouTube makes money off of ads full stop, ads which are sold and valuable because of your hardwork and that of other YouTubers. If you change the algorithm robust content rather than engagement (which Google search engine does in part) you will relieve a large part of the problem.

                            • Joe French
                              Joe French  4 days back

                              I appreciate you focus with this three videos.

                              • Salvatore Shiggerino
                                Salvatore Shiggerino  4 days back

                                Are there people who legitimately can't tell a robot voice from a real human? You see it on a lot of completely apolitical videos too, like technical tutorials.

                                • Gavin May
                                  Gavin May  4 days back

                                  Excellent points

                                  • Gavin May
                                    Gavin May  4 days back

                                    I am so sorry not even the right vid. My bad loves your vid so sorry and embarrassed

                                    • Gavin May
                                      Gavin May  4 days back

                                      Ok sorry for the rant

                                      • Gavin May
                                        Gavin May  4 days back

                                        There are 3 types of vids on you tube

                                        • Ecne3D
                                          Ecne3D  5 days back

                                          so basically people really don't like trump and want him gone, so they spread this propaganda against him :D

                                          • Vicki Kesterson-McCormick

                                            Love your videos but this really blew my wig back. Who knew the thumbnail could really make that much difference and it explains why so many political versions, I also noticed the same thing on stories about the royal family.

                                            • Sky1
                                              Sky1  5 days back

                                              The fact that several main stream news stations echo the exact same story using the exact same wording is not an issue?

                                              • Sky1
                                                Sky1  5 days back

                                                Mainstream media has been brainwashing America for years, now they are attacking social media for making things difficult for them.

                                                • LloydW Vandever
                                                  LloydW Vandever  5 days back

                                                  This is some of the best content ive seen on YouTube. Thank you.

                                                  • Desperado5501
                                                    Desperado5501  6 days back

                                                    HOW MUCH YOU TUBE PAY U TO DO THIS !!!! LMFAO

                                                    • Aldrich Hamizan
                                                      Aldrich Hamizan  6 days back

                                                      yes i understand youtube content can manipulation by someone but reality can't be manipulation

                                                      • Assembly Point
                                                        Assembly Point  6 days back

                                                        wow! i just discover this vid. thank you for your explanation!

                                                        • Jaiven
                                                          Jaiven  6 days back

                                                          "There are people online, trying to manipulate people for financial gain"... 18:39 - annnnnddd here ya go.

                                                          • Troll Face
                                                            Troll Face  7 days back

                                                            Don't mind me, I'm just commenting to generate activity so the algorithm put this video forward!

                                                            • La ϟϟ
                                                              La ϟϟ  7 days back

                                                              Check "the hated one" his videos are so Amasing exposing how Youtube and google track you everywhere

                                                              • Paranormal Busters
                                                                Paranormal Busters  1 weeks back

                                                                I LIKE THE SNOW PART EFFECT LOL

                                                                • Elizabeth Ashton
                                                                  Elizabeth Ashton  1 weeks back

                                                                  The ladder makes me run

                                                                  • Balsey Dean De Witt, Jr.

                                                                    You will also notice that when you post a video, look at the views and then look at the time it was posted! NOT ACCURATE NUMBERS, NO WHERE CLOSE!

                                                                    • cvsWebDesigns
                                                                      cvsWebDesigns  1 weeks back

                                                                      I'll say it ... simple, remove God then remove civility. Maybe "real community" is the key and a return to the Bible!! Get away from this BS;-)

                                                                      • Clarence Wattse
                                                                        Clarence Wattse  1 weeks back

                                                                        Energy flows where attention goes. People need to realize that they consume aka eat with thier ears and eyes. They are feeding thier brain. How they do that is up to the individual.

                                                                        • Gianni Giampolo
                                                                          Gianni Giampolo  1 weeks back

                                                                          I still do not understand where the motivation is to divide people. That did not seem to be properly explained between when i finished commenting and then immediately looked for another video.

                                                                          • Phil's Drone Zone
                                                                            Phil's Drone Zone  1 weeks back

                                                                            hyper paranoid this just express VPN manipulating money out f me? !!

                                                                            • Fernando Rojas
                                                                              Fernando Rojas  1 weeks back

                                                                              I am from Chile. I belive that all the awful things that the world media is spreading against the Police and Military Forces are just propaganda uploaded and coordinated the way you show in the video. Nice Work! .

                                                                              • Ankit Tikariha
                                                                                Ankit Tikariha  1 weeks back

                                                                                2.3k dislikes ...who are these people ...

                                                                                • Ankit Tikariha
                                                                                  Ankit Tikariha  1 weeks back

                                                                                  Now i am quitting watching youtube

                                                                                  • Donnie Mullady
                                                                                    Donnie Mullady  1 weeks back

                                                                                    Can you answer next, I will see on the icon an amount of time for the length of the video and the the actual video is only one or two seconds in length. Is this click bait to gather a number of views.

                                                                                    • richard kaye
                                                                                      richard kaye  1 weeks back

                                                                                      The left wing outlets who reported on the fake Russia/Trump nonsense for 2.5 years are once again above criticism apparently.

                                                                                      • Peter Jongsma
                                                                                        Peter Jongsma  1 weeks back

                                                                                        Selling Likes!
                                                                                        I just Liked myself!
                                                                                        Trump is right.
                                                                                        Fake news is out there.
                                                                                        But it's an inside job.
                                                                                        Forget about Russia.
                                                                                        Who paid for The Steel Dossier?
                                                                                        The Democrats.
                                                                                        If Trump gets his Lawyer to ask The Ukrainians questions guess who tries to Impeach him?
                                                                                        The Democrats.
                                                                                        See the connection?
                                                                                        Not to mention Secret Whistleblowers.

                                                                                        • Fred Flynstone
                                                                                          Fred Flynstone  1 weeks back

                                                                                          it goes a lot deeper....  take the red pill, see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

                                                                                          • Chamilition second
                                                                                            Chamilition second  1 weeks back

                                                                                            5 Minute Crafts.

                                                                                            • Noli Pugay
                                                                                              Noli Pugay  1 weeks back

                                                                                              while we trying to create legit content suffers…

                                                                                              • nosbig64
                                                                                                nosbig64  1 weeks back

                                                                                                Why don't they just remove the algorithm. I mean youtube would still work.

                                                                                                • Sini
                                                                                                  Sini  4 days back

                                                                                                  Social media without algorithms from mined data would just be TV. And TV doesn't sell nearly as well anymore, nor is it as informative or relevant. The pros of having content catered for you definitely outweigh the cons, so long as you keep a keen eye for fake content. Pretty easy to research fakeness.