YouTube tags Brie Larson search outcomes as information, pushes trolls down

Just like its parent company, YouTube has taken no small amount of flack for how it surfaced videos that some consider to be fake news, inappropriate, or even downright trolling. Often, YouTube has hidden behind its automated but not always perfect algorithms almost as an excuse. It turns out, however, it might have a rather simple solution to at least some of those cases. It has silently labeled “Brie Larson” as news and, lo and behold, trolling videos have been buried by actual authoritative news on the actress.

Although the Wonder Woman film did get its fair share of trolls mostly attributed sexism and misogyny, Marvel’s Captain Marvel has received even more undue comments in no small part to Brie Larson’s outspoken attitude towards social concerns. There has been no shortage of calls for boycotting the film simply because of the actress as well as negative reviews even before the film premiered publicly.

Naturally, YouTube was filled with such video commentaries and thanks to YouTube algorithms, those got ranked higher in search results. Twitter user julia alexander, however, noticed that YouTube has silently tagged results for “Brie Larson” as news which effectively ranked videos coming from authoritative sources higher. In effect, it also pushed trolls down the list.

This is kind of a fascinating discovery: YouTube seems to have changed the immediate “Brie Larson” search results to News. That pushes up authoritative sources and, in turn, pushes troll or MRA-style video rants pretty far down the page. Here’s what it was versus now.

— julia 🤔 alexander (@loudmouthjulia) March 7, 2019

More than just a defense of Ms. Larson, @loudmouthjulia notes how YouTube has had the solution to its woes all along. It wasn’t just a matter of fixing the algorithms but of properly qualifying search results. Of course, that could require more manual involvement than YouTube would like to do, but given the controversies it is involved now, it might want to consider such actions now.