YouTube is working to cut the number of conspiracy video it recommends to users, but that number is slowly increasing again.
Researchers trained an algorithm to judge the likelihood that a video on the site contained conspiracy theories by looking at the description, transcript, and comments. They examined eight million recommendations over 15 months. They found that shortly after YouTube announced it would recommend less conspiracy content in January 2019, the numbers did indeed gradually drop—by about 70% at the lowest point in May 2019. However, the number of conspiracy videos YouTube’s algorithm recommends has steadily risen again since then. These recommendations are now only 40% less common than when YouTube started its crackdown.