Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube is facing a rash of criticism over a feature that some observers claim is intended to steer users towards more controversial content. Critics have brought their complaints about YouTube’s autocomplete feature to light in a bid to spark changes from the tech giant.
CNBC shares the details on the problem on the plate of Google.
The video site, owned by Alphabet’s Google, has been the subject of several recent investigations showing how it highlights extreme content, like conspiracy theories or hyper-partisan points of view, over more measured videos.
For example, YouTube and Google’s autocomplete boxes deliver starkly different answers, with the video site recommending controversial or fake points of view on YouTube.
Screenshots of the results from Google and YouTube in a side-by-side fashion have drawn further attention to the stark differences between the results. Google has previously noted that its autocomplete features factor things such as “popularity” and “freshness” when generating results, but no insight has been offered up into differences on the two platforms as of yet.
A recent editorial from the New York Times cast additional shade on YouTube, referring to the platform as “one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.”
Alphabet Inc shares were trading at $1,163.27 per share on Tuesday morning, down $2.66 (-0.23%). Year-to-date, GOOGL has gained 10.43%, versus a 4.67% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.