Youtube has been annoying me lately. I mean, it’s always annoying but it’s literally the biggest video site around so there’s not much you can do about it aside from complaining. But there’s been this shift of changes big and small that are bothering me, not as a content creator but as a viewer. Because content creation and Youtube are a whole different kettle of fish.
Mostly this has to do with subscriptions and recommendations. You know that list of subscriptions on the side of Youtube? Well that little bar constantly misbehaves. I swear the channels randomly change order and I get notifications about new videos from these channels when there aren’t actually any new videos. Or I don’t get notifications when there are new videos. Live streams are the biggest offenders since they spawn a little dot of a notification but there’s often no video there.
Like I said though, minor nuisances. My biggest issue by far is Youtube’s recommendation system. It’s shit.
I’m a simple person. I like videos about video games, most notably glitches, terrible old games and new upcoming stuff. I like Minecraft and Team Fortress 2, two games that essentially have their own CULTURES when it comes to video games and content creation. I do like a little ASMR stuff but there’s only one channel I like and watch regularly because there’s specifically no talking in it. Do I actually get recommended videos that properly relate to my tastes? Fuck no.
Instead I get streams of crap I’d never watch in a billion years. Spanish football, K-Pop channels, low effort Spongebob memes, crappy 10 hour ‘relaxation’ music videos and SO MUCH BOLLYWOOD. Actually, not just Bollywood, ‘Ollywoods of anywhere apart from languages I actually understand. Weirdly, I get a lot of Vietnamese stuff despite not knowing, well, almost anything about modern Vietnam TV culture. I watch one single video with a Korean title and now my Recommended feed is filled with this stuff.
What makes matters worse though is how Youtube has removed the only real way for me to mass-un-recommend videos. Because now, when I look at Youtube, I no longer get recommended channels or topics, I just get a massive list of videos. Which, if I am not interested in, have to mark as much INDIVIDUALLY.
It was nice and easy getting rid of things like Topic: Random Brazilian Football Team or Channel: Turkish Propaganda, but now I can’t do that. I just get this jumbled mess of videos from channels I am recently subscribed to but haven’t watched yet, videos loosely related to things I have watched recently and a vast, vast amount of stuff I’m just not interested in. Like, why am I getting a video of someone drumming on plastic pots? Why am I being recommended 2 hours of “work jazz” when I specifically hate jazz music? What is this video about building a swimming pool? What language is this video about a football team even in?
And these videos do NOT GO AWAY. I have marked multiple videos as “I AM NOT INTERESTED IN THIS” multiple times and they STILL pop up, either on recommendations or in the list of related videos whenever you watch a video. I am NOT INTERESTED IN THIS VIDEO OF A CHIROPRACTOR. STOP SHOWING IT TO ME.
It’s fucking awful. And I assume it’s all designed so that bored people click on more videos and generate more ad income. But for someone who would like recommendations based on what they actually, you know, watch? Youtube is becoming more and more of a nightmare.
Ugh, this sucks. No wonder everyone gaming-related is buggering off to Twitch.