Some readers have contacted One Angry Gamer to report that they’ve seen some odd results when searching up compilation results from the 2016 election and beyond. Other users over on the Kotaku in Action sub-reddit have also reported similar findings, where the search results seem to favor mainstream media sources for multiple pages all with similar or the same results.
There are a number of tests rolled out in the thread, with someone testing on a VPN from Germany, which has the following results.
They also tried through a VPN while setting the location to the U.S., and you might note that even though both browser locations are set to private browsing, the U.S., location extricates the results that include videos from Open Mind and Svend Laue.
Another user also sent us search results from different locations, testing Finland results and the U.S., results, and it was the same as the ones above, with videos like the one from Open Mind being excised from the U.S., search results.
These aren’t tampered with results either, both in private browsing and when logged in through the main browser, these are the search results when looking up “election meltdown” or “2016 election compilation”. Open Mind’s video also doesn’t appear when I tested the search terms in private browsing or standard browsing.
Click the image above to see the full screenshot and you’ll notice that the results are mostly all from the exact same channels (almost all entirely mainstream media) and it’s all featuring many of the exact same videos from the other images above, save there is no video from Open Mind, which garnered 2.5 million views after it was published back on November 9th, 2017. You can view the video below.
Now some users also used the archive website and noted that since the servers are located in the Netherlands, it appears the results are not based on the U.S., even though the results are returned in English. You’ll note that videos like the one from Open Mind do appear in the archived search.
These results are mirrored from other locations located outside of the U.S., with the Singaporean results also showing videos that don’t appear in the general search terms when searching publicly or privately from the U.S. The image below shows search returns featuring videos from Open Mind, Satisfactory TV, and Connors Conquest.
Users also tested search results from the U.K., which possibly to no one’s surprise has almost identical results to the U.S., searches, with various non-mainstream channels removed from the YouTube search results.
Some presume that the results may be altered based on if the native speaking language is English, given that the search results from the Czech Republic features videos both from mainstream and independent content creators alike, as depicted in the screenshot below.
As users continue to test the search results, it’s becoming increasingly clear that YouTube’s algorithm is attempting to steer users away from certain non-mainstream videos that could paint a certain side in a bad light.
Many feel as if YouTube is attempting to tamper with the elections, something that the Democrats accused the Russians of. Google has also gone the extra mile to shadow ban certain websites from Google News so that news from certain websites do not appear in the general news feed.
It will be interesting to see if YouTube attempting to change or fix the search results in the U.S., will actually have an effect on the mid-term elections.
(Thanks for the news tip Iswear)