A rather lengthy video from YouTuber Optimus basically confirms everything most of everyone already knew about YouTube who refuse to go through life with blinders on: YouTube is manipulating content aggregation, ranking, recommendations, monetization, and throttling using hidden metrics known as “P-Scores”.
The 23 minute video was posted up over on Optimus’ YouTube channel, where he meticulously goes through the painstaking task of explaining how the P-Scores work, what they are, and how they ultimately affect YouTube channels both big and small. You can check out the video below.
So what does “P-Scores” stand for and what does it mean?
Well, it stands for five metrics: Popularity, Passion, Protection, Platform, and Production.
Each of the terms are defined in a 15-page Google document, which outlines the findings from Optimus, Nicholars DeOrio, Pescatore, and Bowblax.
The short of it is that “Popularity” is based on how many subscribers and views your channel has, while “Passion” rates user engagement (i.e,. comments, shares, likes, and fan recurring views). “Protection” is based on how family-friendly your content is. “Platform” determines if your content is formatted for large screen viewing on television, and “Production” is based on production values and quality.
These hidden P-Scores could be viewed by right-clicking on the video, clicking on “View Page Source” and then pressing CTRL + F and search for: “videoContentLabelRating”
This should bring you to a line in the source code that will reveal your channel’s P-Score:
If you attempt to check the P-Scores on any YouTube video at the moment, the content ratings or the overall score or throttling information will be obfuscated.
YouTube removed the data from being visible through the page source.
However, I did check an archive of a PewDiePie video from October 28th, 2019. Specifically the “You Cringe, You Cringe Challenge (Cringe).
Via the Wayback Machine, the October 28th, 2019 archive does contain the P-SCore that Optimus mentioned in his video.
If you search up “Pscore” via CTRL + F, it will take you to that line. If you attempt to search for a P-Score in any YouTube video after Optimus posted up his video, the information is no longer available.
We also learn that the P-Scores change per region, and this determines whether certain kinds of content is more or less visible in certain regions.
YouTube uses these hidden scores to determine how many ads are played on your videos, even if you are monetized with a green check. Simply put, getting the green check doesn’t guarantee that your content will be fully monetized.
Your content could be throttled, which could prevent it from being fully monetized, despite what the check says.
What’s more is that the P-Scores verify what was previously outed by the Coffee Break research report, which revealed that YouTube promotes mainstream media sources over organic content creators. You can see who the top P-Score performers are on YouTube with the list below.
So now we not only have data proving that YouTube is purposefully trending mainstream media outlets on the platform, but they’re also utilizing hidden P-Scores to suppress content they don’t want you to see; to demonetize content creators without actually informing them that they’ve been demonetized; and throttling content so certain kinds of content creators and their videos are no longer recommended.
As mentioned in the video above, if you make “family friendly” content with high-quality output, 15 minutes or longer, and avoid controversial imagery and language, YouTube will raise your P-Score, and thus raise your channel’s visibility.
If you don’t believe this is happening or would like to test it for yourself, find a YouTube channel that has been archived via the Wayback Machine and check the page source of the archive, and proceed to search up “Pscore” to find out where they rank, as well as if the video or channel is being throttled.
Expect YouTube to double down on these kind of hidden algorithmic metrics leading into the 2020 elections to suppress information or data they don’t want you to see, or channels they don’t want you to visit as they attempt to rig the elections, just like Google said they would in the Project Veritas video that leaked back during the summer.
(Thanks for the news tip Clownfish TV)