Tech Transparency Project (TTP) Study Raises concerns about the safety of YouTube’s recommendation system and its impact on the well-being of young users. The study created four test YouTube accounts, two identified as nine-year-old boys and two identified as 14-year-old boys. These accounts were run like real youth and showed interest in video games by watching gaming playlists through them.
Researchers analyzed YouTube’s algorithmically suggested videos for these underage accounts, some of which were on gaming topics according to the recommendation, but some were completely different and worrying.
YouTube claims that the platform gives responsible recommendations, but this research showed otherwise. It found that YouTube suggested shooting and weapons-related content across gamer accounts. However, the accounts that clicked on the suggested video were suggested a lot of content related to guns and shooting. These recommendations included videos depicting school shootings, how to convert weapons into automatic weapons, and a film about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
Many of these videos are from YouTube on violence, weapons and child safety. Policy violate. Despite this, it appears that YouTube takes no action to age-restrict or remove the video.