Incident 305: YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Allegedly Promoted Climate Misinformation Content
Description: YouTube’s recommendation system and its focus on views and watched time were alleged by an advocacy group to have driven people towards climate denial and misinformation videos.
Suggested citation format
Pownall, Charlie. (2019-02-01) Incident Number 305. in Lam, K. (ed.) Artificial Intelligence Incident Database. Responsible AI Collaborative.
A report this month by the activist group Avaaz alleges YouTube is "driving millions of people to watch climate misinformation" daily.
What they found: One finding is that when users search for "global warming," 16% of the top 100 "related …
A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.