Nov 3, 2020

I School Research Shows YouTube Cut Down Misinformation & Boosted Fox News

From New York Times

YouTube Cut Down Misinformation. Then It Boosted Fox News.

To battle false information, YouTube cut its recommendations to fringe channels and instead promoted major networks, especially Fox News.

By Jack Nicas

After the 2016 election, engineers at YouTube went to work on changes to a YouTube algorithm that had become one of the world’s most influential lines of computer code....

In several analyses of YouTube’s recommendations on popular news and election videos over the past month, Fox News was consistently the most recommended channel, sometimes by a wide margin, according to data from Mr. Chaslot and Marc Faddoul, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley...

In one analysis, Mr. Chaslot and Mr. Faddoul collected recommendations daily on videos posted by 800 of YouTube’s most popular news-related channels over the three weeks that ended on Oct. 27. Fox News accounted for more than 3 percent of the 300,000 recommendations collected, more than twice the rate of the next-closest channel, the History Channel. CNN and MSNBC accounted for about 1 percent of recommendations.


Marc Faddoul graduated from the I School’s Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program in 2019. He currently works as an associate researcher with Professor Hany Farid.

Last updated:

November 10, 2020