YouTube Manipulation: The Corrosive Effect of Search Engine Optimization

April 20, 2021

Do you want to get a glimpse of how “relevant” content ends up in your search results? Navigate to “Feeding Hate With Video: A Former Alt-Right YouTuber Explains His Methods.” Here’s a quote to note:

Mr. Robertson recently boasted in a text that in one day a video
targeting Mr. Jones, the conspiracy theorist he once worked with, had
been viewed over 250,000 times.

The article explains how a person who comes across as an evil individual generated traffic. The information provides a road map to undermine relevance and make a mockery of Google’s vaunted black box for determining relevance.

Let’s call this manipulation of a flawed method for determining relevance what it is:

SEO or search engine optimization.

Take a look at a search results list from your most recent query? What’s relevant? What’s accurate? What’s manipulating you via injections of digital bias?

Years ago professional publishers produced indexes and abstracts of content human measured against specific editorial criteria. Those “standards” and “methods” are long gone.

What’s taken the place of knowledge work? Thumbtypers in the SEO game.

Stephen E Arnold, April 20, 2021


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