AlgoTransparency — Discover how YouTube’s algorithm may affect French elections

Hi everyone,

I’m very glad to introduce you to the 1st project of AlgoTransparency (@helloalgo).

Our organization aim to inform citizens regarding the workings and consequences of the algorithms that shape our access to information. In our first project, we turned our attention to the YouTube video platform out of concern with the spread of fake news, and with the role that social media recommendations are purported to have played in influencing voting decisions in several countries.

Five days before the French presidential elections, the data we collected indicates that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm promotes three candidates more than others: the main far-left candidate Mélenchon, the candidate of the alt-right National Front Le Pen, and a less-known candidate supporting “Frexit,” Asselineau.

These trends are startling, especially since YouTube is the biggest video hosting platform in France, with more than 28 million unique visitors in February 2017 – almost half of France’s population (source: Médiamétrie).

Learn more on our approach here:
Press release:

– Adrien Montcoudiol


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