Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm - (Part 1/3) Smarter Every Day 213

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    My first video of a 3 part series on "coordinated inauthentic behavior". Thanks to ExpressVPN for sponsoring this series. Get 3 months free with 12-month plan at Click here if you're interested in subscribing:
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    Renée Diresta is a Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust, where she researches unintended consequences of algorithms and works towards helping machines make better decisions. Renee also writes about disinformation and the changing face of information war - check out her essay “The Digital Maginot Line” ( - and is a contributor to Wired Ideas (
    Here are examples of some of the videos in question
    (Open these videos in incognito mode so you don’t mess up your algorithm.) - 298k views 8k views
    To say this presentation style is shady is an understatement. Quite interesting. - 107k views
    Here’s one of the channels:
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    Publicerades den År sedan


    1. SmarterEveryDay

      Thank you for taking the time to watch the video. This is video 1 of a 3 part series on Social Media Algorithm manipulation and countermeasures. Even if you're aware of these issues, odds are your friends and parents are not. I'm hoping we can use this video series to educate an incredible amount of people about the realities of algorithmic manipulation online. The engineers tasked with working on these problems take their jobs very seriously and they are truly the unsung heroes in this fight. I'd be honored if you shared this video with someone you love. I'm on Twitter at: You can subscribe here for the rest of the series (in process): Note: This is a completely apolitical video. I don't care what side of the aisle you're on, you're a target of these types of attacks. I'd like to say thank you to everyone at these three companies (and those beyond) willing to discuss this very sensitive topic, and giving me your trust. This touches many different areas.... technical engineering, human interactions, artificial intelligence, IT, financial incentives, law enforcement, attempts to manipulate others, etc. This is an absolutely fascinating topic and I believe it's imperative that we talk about these issues more openly so even the most lackadaisical social media user is aware of them. I have realized lately that in general, people online are very eager to become angry at these platforms whenever there is the slightest misstep, without truly understanding the impossible engineering tasks these individuals have been given. I'd like to thank Renée Diresta for taking the time to discuss these issues openly with me. She wrote a wonderful piece called the "Digital Maginot Line" ( For those unfamiliar, the maginot line was an amazing undertaking to create a defensive front, which was easily sidestepped. It's worth your time.

      1. Tyler Durden

        part 2?

      2. Chris Turnblom

        Ha! Things are getting pretty heavy. My cousin says he can't discuss and do certain things or interact with the public in certain ways. Probably because of the posse comitatus act or something. I agree in that philosophy for the most part because it prevents a military dictatorship or other tyrannical scenarios. Again though, things are getting pretty heavy & I know good people like you need support so I'll be around to contact if you need some Coin. Hopefully, things don't get that bad though.

      3. Saurabh Kisku

        What to do ?

      4. Saurabh Kisku

        Where is the second part of this video? The link in the description isnt working in the app !! What to do ??

      5. robsw0rld

        Thank you!

    2. AuSome Bill

      Thank you for that video👍

    3. Yannick Vaucher

      Funny to see that only the SEprom employee doesn't want to be on SEprom.

    4. Yannick Vaucher

      2020 update: 2,7 K bots disliked this (another random message for the holy algorithm)

    5. Joe Blo

      Excellent video, once again.

    6. Phillip Greene

      I'm betting it's all money. i mean it's lile she said, the content is so obviously fake it's not appealing to anyone. they just need you to click on it to get the add traffic it doesn't matter if you don't finish the video or use thr dislike button they still got the money.

    7. Thecommander248

      After seeing what the media and social media did to Donald Trump in 2020 election, this becomes prophetic and all the more disturbing.

    8. Phantom Phlier

      Ask the CCP if it's about money or politics.

    9. Alex Torres

      Yes got a lot of trump propaganda from Russia it’s all bots

    10. Getting the steps

      im trying a kind of "walk away" strategy .... it kind of works, but im still here, seeing this and other things, so not foolproof. - but i use vpn , not always, maybe i should

    11. Mary Lagua

      We would love to watch more of this topic.

    12. Kasper Aare Naicker

      Amazing breakdown of modern warfare! Woah! You are getting smarter, EVERY DAY! Thanks for sharing your smart-ness :D

    13. Vincent Yang

      ExpressVPN???!!!!! It is actually in Hong Kong and has capital from China.

    14. AndroidFerret ANIMALS'N GAMES

      Wasn't it true news ???.

    15. Shuntsam2

      I see those videos got taken down and that shady channel too. I hope SEprom has gotten smarter since this video was posted

    16. Yusuf Shurbaji

      The algorithm needs to consider a human component. Otherwise, it breaks down, as imperfect as humans are, they need to be considered.

    17. Sparks Explore

      This is so relevant today in the USA.

    18. Massive BIZ

      Internet is fake😂

    19. Nick Naumovich

      Excellent video, but also look at what happens when the algorithm itself is used maliciously to create biases that appeal to the corporate desires of say, SEprom (Alphabet). I have read that manipulation by these big 3 tech companies during the election can drive 15,000,000 votes to one candidate or another. We assume here that there is no nefarious motive at these companies that channel most of our country's information. A perfect example is the autocomplete used in the search bar. With many search vendors around, experiment with using the same string into the search bar of each and see what is returned, i.e., "[Name] is" will return happy or horrible content regarding this person. What you get is directly tied to the wishes of the person or team of people responsible for tweaking the algorithm. After the election, if you see the company's CEO and underlings balling uncontrollably and promising to do better next time, then it becomes wholly evident who their bias was behind. This bias is reinforced when one side is banned from a platform just prior to the election at issue. Then the bias is blaring.

    20. Dreamingrightnow

      Um, pro Pelosi spin isn't "the left", lol. Just sayin..

    21. Electric Universe Eyes

      The internet is getting better, but really worse.

    22. BlueSilverfish

      Would'nt it help, if as much people as possible would report those kind of videos. Perhaps actively look for those and then report them...

    23. BlueSilverfish

      kinda creepy...

    24. J. Tendean

      "They are going to make us fight."

    25. Steve Simpson

      I quit clicking on those stupid sensationalized headlines. Nothing to see there. Robo voice videos suck. Won't watch. But am finding better made manufactured videos, many as a documentary. It's basically a slide show with a boring story to tell. Absolutely no content.

    26. Tutor

      Lets MAKE this the most liked comment hihi

    27. Tinkering With Tech

      red flags all over the place? yeh thats the russians lol

    28. Thomas Grande

      See thanks to technology we have no cashiers we have algorithms deceptive industry

    29. Dozia Blakey

      You are freaking brilliant! I've been fighting this for months now and I thought no one else noticed, you actually have broke the code in a way that at least gives our forgien enemies a thing to think about and some allies as well I guess. It's super annoying 😑. Maybe you should work for youtube and help them figure it out 😉

    30. Manuel Malagon

      Just use OpenVPN. Don't give your money and information to all those vpn services. If you want to support the channel go to patreon.

    31. Danny D

      Destin... This is it.

      1. Danny D

        15:46 - Did you see that lady’s video about the government takeover in her home country in the 80s?

      2. Danny D

        12:48 - This is what they’re doing.. what they’ve done. Why people are so polarized or are polarizing these days.

    32. Lex vrienten

      The only reason in pissed at youtube is that my videos get interupted 6 times for double ads

    33. Half Insane Outdoor Guy

      The anger only comes when my neighbor votes to take away my rights.

    34. jackbauer322

      Well turns out it was REAL ...

    35. David Stone

      my question is, "who's selling dis-likes?"

    36. TwoOneTwo OneFive

      This has to be the weirdest creepy pasta in my recommended.

    37. Robin Singh

      @7:24 fake engagement policy 😂

    38. The Thieves' Domain

      So this is how watchmojo does it

    39. Charles Yeo

      School. K12. Basic education has to teach people about innate human biases, media literacy and skills. Particularly effective communication skills. Active listening. These kind of skills should be basic toolset of everyone going forward. Community support can't be relied to for that. Education systems should prioritize learning how to be human over learning facts about the world. Calculus, specific history meant to stoke patriotism. all that can wait. If they can't teach kids to be human, all that means nothing.

    40. Charles Yeo

      It's weird that youtube is only now deciding to show me this. Rip RBG

    41. rumblfmp

      Somehow you imprinted in my mind that we should all like this video. Now I also have to watch the full series 😉

    42. Kimchi Koalaa

      My father has been poisoned by these political content farms. No citations, similar video styles, polarising contents, robo voice.

    43. Bobby Friend

      You always have interesting content in your videos and this one is some of the best. I have wondered about this kind of stuff for quite some time and now I have a starting point to do some research of my own. What got me the most curious was the use of robot voices. I noticed it several years ago and never could figure out why anyone would want to do that. I also did not know about being able to buy twitter Facebook and you tube likes and views and subscriptions. I've been on the internet since the beginning of the internet and am just learning about this stuff thanks to your channel.

    44. Converging Perspectives

      Thank you.

    45. Benjamin Curley

      i saw destin's ip adress because there was a glitch in my computer but im not telling anyone

    46. Riain Rising

      This is the first time I've seen a youtuber has address these issues using math, logic and reason. Have you tried using the algorithm hack to improve views on this well researched topic:) I'd like to see how many people raise eyebrows then.

    47. Vickie Tema

      Hi there, I have had someone doing the SEprom manipulation with my social media accounts. Do you have any idea how I reset that or clean that from my feeds long term. You research was the best thoroughly thing of what I have been experiencing. Thank you so much.

    48. waclosh

      I also noticed 2 years ago, that there are robot made, super stupid and sometimes harmful 3d videos being uploaded to youtube cloaked as children's music content.

    49. Don Hunter

      I feel smarter

    50. Hagop

      "there are bad actors online trying to manipulate people for financial gain" Is this literally your first day on the internet?

    51. Soumil Shrivastava

      where is part 2

    52. Colton Hall

      I’ve been manipulated by the algorithm into watching this video a year after it’s creation. At least you make real content to watch ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    53. Rusty Shackleford

      I know this doesn't avoid ALL fake videos, but I automatically thumbs down and stop watching all videos with computer voice narration. And another point that has come up more recently than this video upload, is SEprom censoring/removing real human content creators videos for their own ideological disagreements, which IS wrong.

    54. Stinky Man

      Thank You SEprom for protecting me I don't know how I got along this far without youtube protection.'s Now GFY!!!!!

    55. Tom McCoy

      Brain 🧠 washing of America

    56. x13x Monkeys

      This is very educational.Always view with open mind.I started deleting accounts , FB,Pinterest etc, then planted and spent time daily in my garden growing and eating my own food:) No counter measures there. Thx

    57. Stickman

      Dude, I respect your videos and opinion but there is something seriously wrong with you if you believe people have a "flaw in your heart the desire to fight with your neighbor." Maybe you want a war with someone you are in close proximity to, but 99.99999999999% of people don't feel that way. Get some therapy.

    58. Marius

      Great investigation!

    59. Ilya Shevaldin

      Why financially motivated? Any Proves? Interesting 🤔

    60. moon ruby

      All Americans get a vpn

    61. Practical Porters

      Excellent work as always. At min 16 I had to subscribe to your channel. Its our hearts that choose to allow hate for our neighbors. Wow, Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 are all about this too. Cheers

    62. S Waseem

      09:25 i wonder if imdb & rotten tomatoes engages this to boost certain movies before they're released to generate hype

    63. MrBeans

      just here to perpetuate the algorithm .

    64. jokerwhy8

      Lol that voice

    65. mp schaefer

      Excellent work. Think outside the box. Is the highly political division in the USA and world fueled by these platforms content creators looking for both revenue and ideology.

    66. James Drissel

      Social media as a great filter. We must evolve to meet the threat.

    67. Sean Sinitski

      I've run into these a lot. Even weirder, there are channels that cover really obscure "news". I found one that reported on the death of one my friends (I was doing a search of her name)..

    68. r2dxhate

      7:56 he gives a baseball signal to steal second base

    69. Eric Morse

      Its all about stealing information on everything

    70. stfnsipos

      Sadly are low Q people too

    71. Beach looking Guy

      seems like a pretty simple way to get these accounts to slow down is to STOP MONETIZING POLITICS. the fact that commercials are played during debates and crisis is a huge issue NOBODY seems to care about. does nobody realize monetizing these two things corrupts ALLLLLL OF IT???? like, helloooooooooo!

    72. The Drink; Sustainability

      This is a very informative episode, can't wait to see more. Keep it up Dustin!!! :)

    73. Neal Head

      oh THEY are DEFINETELY playing with the's why I refuse to go on FB or twit as well satan's biggest lie is to convince us that he doesn't exist.....this stuff going on IS STRAIGHT UP E V I L

    74. altgenesis

      A video doesn't make me fight. It's the MSM that is dividing people by lying to them. Fake news is the enemy of the people but only if the MSM is being listened to as being the authoritative true voice not to be questioned. We question these videos and alternative videos but a lot of people who only watch the MSM have been programmed by the MSM that they are the only credible source of the truth and people stupidly believe that because they have been brainwahed. These video you talk about are just noise to get money from SEprom or they may have an ad to click on or they may have another video beside this video in the thumbnails which sell something. Follow the money.

    75. MotionArtist3D

      We all know that youtube is behind most of this fake accounts and manipulation of the public opinions which started with 'Shadow Banning' which then morphed into outright account suspensions of well known figures, speakers, doctors speaking against that fake plandemic and channels that they do not agree with(which is a criminal act and they will pay very dearly for it). People running youtube are part of the deep state, the swamp and satanic worshiping pedeo networks and their time is almost up. Justice is coming!

    76. Mathieu Sylvestre

      With artificial intelligence getting much better at replicating people's face and voice this kind of practices will get almost undetectable for us simple humans...

    77. djjohnnymusic

      Perhaps one of your best videos ever.

    78. Calming Drive

      You know,, algorithms has studying the algorithms...

    79. Nikos Cuatro

      outside internet also there is a lot of people that everyday try to manipulate you. Manipulation is one of the ways of how people gets what they want. Unconsciously people is driving by selfishness and they learn unconsciously how to manipulate others perseption. SEprom or whatever platform of content is not diferent from the real life. As one gains experience one should learn how to discern people behave and content. You have to be smart every day on internet and outside the real life, in order to not be decieved.

    80. James Moore

      I started to play the algorithm 2 or 3 years ago. On 12-14-19, the rules changed, however so did all my cues. So, let's say I want to hear a ragtime tune..just put in the title. And I hear the tune. Next it has a very obscure ragtime tune, so to not have to listen to "you tubes" ragtime picks, I will ask for,,, a history of "Mesa Verde National Park", which will start putting in old home movies AND music from the 1930s-1940s!!! Then I will get a new que for that music. If I put in route 66 road trip, then I can go back to "happy days 50s". My Golden standard is...The more obscure the music, ( show, movie, politics) The more wild card selections you will get presented to you and the less likely you will have everything picked out ( for you???) Brother James

    81. Luc Lafond

      Change my mind: All the dislikes are bots.

    82. John Lynch


    83. Starstream IR

      Something about Diresta was bugging me, but I couldn't think of a way to describe it at first, but I after a second of quieting my mind and reflecting on it, the best I could come up with at the moment is a metaphor in which she would be one of the citizens in "The Matrix" movie, still connected to the matrix, unaware that the reality she lives in is only a very well constructed simulation. She "knows" with zero uncertainty that her perception of reality is unarguably accurate and correct and has a very strong emotional attachment to that notion, so any attempt to present information that clashes with her programming or the programming of any of the others trapped in there with her is likely to trigger that fail-safe response that causes her body avatar to be taken over by one of the "Agents", and due to the manner of the power structures she's connected to, that could cause that entire local area of the matrix around her and the outsider trying to free her, to trip the system's internal defense systems which begins to activate other extremely dangerous defensive and offensive assets who's only purpose in that moment seek out and destroy the "threat". Ironically, highly intelligent people can be the hardest to wake up, (and often the most clueless). I guess you could say they're blinded by their own brilliance. One thing's for sure though; it won't be too much longer before that "red pill" becomes a suppository.

    84. Bithi islam vlogs


    85. Matthew Shooshtari

      This is certainly late engagement on the video, but putting together the video about the human/social battle space. It is really worrisome, especially now. When people talk there is so much in common. People are generally good. When people are influenced to think bad of others, it can break down society. Anyway, my 3yr old son loves watching you build things, and you are an inspiration. He builds things in the living room with random things. I know that with good hearted people like yourself in positions of influence we will make it through ok. Thank you.

    86. G H

      Idea... All the videos say the same things... Have the algorithm listen to the words? Or read the subtitles?

    87. 吳汝希

      say it after me c-c-p chinese communist party!

    88. WarHammer3

      Just commenting so the algorithm recommends this video!


      Alternatively, - mock everything!


      It's easy - automatically take the counter view to every statement without becoming party to it..

    91. Carson G.

      And what is sad is people use the artificial videos to make money, but some people are gullible and will actually believe the video.

    92. TheFatesBack

      Good ol youtube exploits xD

    93. TM P

      You don't seem to understand 'product & service identity retention' due to the simple fact that you have no name or logo on your cap or shirt.

    94. David Reynolds

      This what people have ALWAYS done and will ALWAYS do! It's the tools and methods that change!

    95. Allan H

      Censored in 3,2,1...

    96. Skyler B

      Yea definitely fake news, Pelosi would never rack up wins on Trump.

    97. casey bowman

      Type in: We Europeans - University of Toronto., The Babylonian Talmud., Michael Hoffman - The dark side of the Talmud., Barbra Specter calls for the destruction of the European culture. enjoy

    98. Floyd Maxwell

      What you missed -- this has nothing to do with nefarious video makers trying to do virtual battle for votes. It is just nerds with computers trying to make a buck.

    99. Pedro Calle

      Dude, this has so many implications. I'm commenting to get this video out to more people!

    100. Brendan Croxall

      Everyone needs to see this video. We all think we think for ourselves but people don't have ideas, ideas have people.