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YouTube Leads Young Gamers to Videos of Guns, School Shootings

Tech Transparency Project: “YouTube says it delivers ‘responsible’ video recommendations. But its algorithms steered accounts for young gamers toward content on guns, school shootings, and a serial killer.
Key points from this report:

  • YouTube recommended hundreds of videos about guns and gun violence to accounts for boys interested in video games, according to a new study.
  •  Some of the recommended videos gave instructions on how to convert guns into automatic weapons or depicted school shootings.
  •  The gamer accounts that watched the YouTube-recommended videos got served a much higher volume of gun- and shooting-related content.
  •  Many of the videos violated YouTube’s own policies on firearms, violence, and child safety, and YouTube took no apparent steps to age-restrict them.
  •  YouTube also recommended a movie about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to minor accounts, the study found.

YouTube’s algorithms are pushing boys interested in video games to scenes of school shootings, instructions on how to use and modify weapons, and even a movie about notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, according to a study by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) that raises new questions about the safety of YouTube’s recommendation system…”

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