I think, after writing for this blog for like five years or something, you can somewhat get an idea of what things I like. At the very least, you can guess that I like video games, most notably things like Team Fortress 2, Warframe, Skyrim and Minecraft. I also like things like Risk of Rain, Borderlands and the Binding of Isaac. These games are all pretty large, popular games that have avid communities and thus create a huge amount of video content, a lot of which ends up on Youtube. But I’m willing to look into other games as well, and I’ve always been a fan of funny videos about gaming, game reviews and all that gubbings.
With all that being said, if you were to make me a Youtube recommendations playlist, it would be pretty easy. After all, there is a lot of content and I am quite a patient person, so I will sit through a lot of weird stuff, as long as it’s video game related. At no point would you put things like Turkish soap operas, people dipping shoes in paint, football match previews or shitty Family Guy clips into my recommendations, right? Right? RIGHT?
So why am I getting all these fucking weird recommendations? Recommendations that make no sense?
I have no idea. 99% of the recommendations I see are things I wouldn’t watch. Below is a screenshot from Youtube, which I had to scroll for quite a while to get something that I’d feasibly watch. None of these are from my subscribed channels, mind you.
I’ll tell you what I keep on seeing, because it’s not just Turkish soap operas. It’s Vietnamese soap operas as well. And the occasional Greek one, which makes a TINY bit of sense since I speak Greek, but I’m not seeing any CYPRIOT soap operas! I don’t even watch soap operas anyway. The only person I know who does is my brother, and that’s because he watches the WWE, which is a soap opera but with fighting in it.
But I’m also seeing a lot of… I don’t know what to call it… generically popular stuff. Stuff that’s trending on Youtube that I have no desire to watch. Whatever pop star just released a video. Some amusing video with a cat in it. Stuff that has 10 million or more views and is probably being pushed by Youtube for more advertising money. There’s also a lot of stuff that I’m pretty sure contain paid promotions and I just don’t give a shit about.
Like, for some reason, the weird shoe-dipping videos. Someone takes an expensive, branded shoe (clearly stated in the title) then customizes them by dipping them in paint. I’ve also seen a ton of expensive car, computer and holiday reviews, all clearly with some form of promotion in them.
And for some very strange reason, I keep on getting recommended kids’ stuff, like that stupid creepy Masha E O Urso (Masha and the Bear), and none of them in English. Actually, non-English stuff is pretty damn common. Okay sure, I’m bilingual, I speak English and Greek, but about 25% of what I get recommended is in Turkish, with a hint of German, Korean or Japanese. Unless it’s a meditation video or something where understanding doesn’t matter, I am never going to watch these things. I can understand being recommended cat videos or maybe trailers for upcoming games and movies or whatnot, but I won’t even understand a Turkish soap opera, let alone a recommendation for episode 2 of series 2 or whatever.
There’s nothing I can do about it either. I can click on “DON’T RECOMMEND THIS CHANNEL” or “NOT INTERESTED” until the cows come home, but there’s always a similar channel to instantly back it up as soon as I refresh the page. cartoon show snippets are particularly bad because there are sooooo many channels that have these snippets that I can’t get rid of them fast enough.
None of this makes any sense though. What I like is actually pretty easy to define. If Youtube wants me to spend more time on their website watching and subscribing to more videos, then that’s an easy thing to do: send me more gaming stuff. And the occasional ASMR massage video. Preferably with no talking, because I find people whispering in videos REALLY PISSES ME OFF FOR NO REAL REASON.
I kid you not, I had to “un-recommend” a whispering ASMR video 7 times before it finally disappeared. If anything, things have gotten far, far worse since the last time I ranted about Youtube, and that wasn’t very long ago.
And Youtube wonders why it’s having problems lately.