If recommendations on YouTube’s homepage seemed a little off these past few days, that’s because something weird was definitely happening, according to the company.
YouTube’s product team responded to one of many threads on a popular YouTube subreddit where people were complaining about the recommended videos being offered to them on the main homepage. Videos from five or six years ago littered the homepage, alongside gaming live streams. A YouTube representative responded to complaints in a thread, acknowledging that something strange had occurred and a fix was being implemented.
“Just confirming that YouTube is aware of this thread and looking into it — we do think something weird is up,” a YouTube community manager wrote on Reddit.
The same community manager later confirmed YouTube “identified the cause of the issue,” adding that “it should be fixed now.”
“We do think something weird is up.”
“If anyone is still experiencing irrelevant recommendations like what was described in this thread by the OP and others, please reply to this and let me know,” the manager wrote.
A YouTube representative declined to provide more information on the situation.
YouTube’s recommendations — both on the front page and those that appear to the side of a video — have faced criticism for more than a year. Many people have complained that YouTube’s recommendations algorithm is broken. However, this issue is different from YouTube’s algorithm promoting dangerous or harmful content. The main complaint among those who were recommended unrelated videos on their homepage was that no action worked to prevent those videos from appearing again.
“First it was Fortnite and Roblox,” one Reddit user wrote. “I clicked ‘not interested’ and ‘not interested in this channel’ on all of them. Refreshed. Same shit. Repeat. Refreshed. Now it’s a bunch of rap music and sports. YouTube is doing their damnedest to show me the stuff I hate the most.”
“Most of these same videos are coming up for me too even though I’ve never interacted with anything close to what these channels are about,” another Reddit user wrote.
Although YouTube’s community manager said the issue has been resolved on the platform’s back end, they’re asking users who are still affected to reply in that specific Reddit thread.