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TheirTube: Visit Radically Different YouTube Recommendation Bubbles

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2020

TheirTube lets you see YouTube recommended videos for preppers, liberals, climate deniers, fruitarians, conservatives, etc. Here’s the climate deniers home page from a couple of days ago:

Theirtube Climate

Theirtube is a Youtube filter bubble simulator that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people’s YouTube. Users can experience how the YouTube home page would look for six different personas. Each persona simulates the viewing environment of real Youtube users who experienced being inside a recommendation bubble through recreating a Youtube account with a similar viewing history.

The simulator was developed by Tomo Kihara after he got into an argument with someone who lived in a completely different filter bubble:

This whole project started when I was in a heated discussion with a person who thought climate change was a hoax and 9/11 was a conspiracy. Through conversations with him, I was surprised to learn that he thought everyone’s YouTube feed had the same information as his own feed. When we showed each other our YouTube homepages, we were both shocked. They were radically different. And it got me thinking about the need for a tool to step outside of information bubbles.

The project is open-sourced on GitHub so you can make your own personas, etc. (via craig mod)

Update: Leveraging Twitter’s lists functionality, Vicariously lets you see the timelines of other Twitter users. And not only that, but you can merge the timelines of several users, only the mutual follows of those users, and other options.