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YouTube – The Dark Side

We have to talk about YouTube. Over 4bln videos are hosted but is it a force for good or evil?

YouTube and Google know your deepest desires and darkest fantasies, but also your home location and which is your local pub. How do they get your data? What is the secret sauce in their algorithm that makes you come back for more and more YouTube videos? Meet with YouTube researchers revealing what can be unearthed via scraping and reverse engineering of recommendation engine. What makes YouTube tick? Can we reclaim it?

CHAIR: Alessandro Gandini (King’s College) – Lecturer in Sociologies of Digital Media and co-editor of Journal of Convergence YouTube Special Issue


Sophia Drakopoulou (Middlesex University) – Researcher of Networked Tech and co-editor of YouTube Special Issue in Journal of Convergence (January 2018)

James Woodcock (London School of Economics ) – research on what makes You Tube tick.

Panel will be joined by YouTube Vloggers, e-sports commentators and edu Vloggers

Join the discussion on the cryptic nature of YouTube algorithms. The emergence of intermediaries, Multichannel Networks (MCNs) and affiliate marketing agreements like MCNs claim to help YouTubers making money faster. Although YouTube is a platform seemingly characterised by the amateur video – the truth is that it is dominated by a myriad of commercial channels. What is really going on with the battle for your eyeballs, attention and emotions? Are we losing the opportunities for new video start-ups?

Data scrapping provides one method to attempt to understand how algorithms work. The way follow-up videos are determined can make or break a YouTube channel, but it remains undisclosed to users and your kid may end up watching Peppa Pig Drinks Bleach For the First Time or worse.

The recent changes in the terms of joining the partner programme have caused quite a big upheaval amongst small time You Tubers. Small channels now need to have longer viewing hours, longer length of membership and subscribers before they qualify for monetisation. Check out the winners and the losers and have YOUR say on video algos.






DJ @SimonsMine

Sponsors: Hydro66, Middlesex University, The Retail Practice, Newspeak House


About Karolina Janicka

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