When you think things couldn’t get any worse, it does. So there’s a new website that categorizes YouTubers buy their political leaning and I have to say, this is perhaps the single worst possible thing that could happen for any sort of free discussion to take place in our modern society! It’s like we’re already massively divided as it is, but to add this to the mix would kill, any sort of dialogue that could happen.

This websiote, according to its descritpion,

By categorizing, indexing, and analyzing over 8,000 of the largest English language YouTube channels actively discussing political and cultural issues, we aim to provide the data necessary to better understand this space.

Transparency.tube fills this data vacuum to help journalists, researchers, and the curious better understand YouTube’s political landscape. Our platform has created an interactive visualization of 8,162 channels that discuss political or cultural issues. This includes views and estimated watch time data for the approximately 9.3M videos posted by these channels. Along with classifying each channel’s political leaning as left, center, or right, we go a step further and assign one or more of 14 different fine-grained tags to each channel. This enables a view into a number of the niche communities that YouTube has fostered.

The transparency.tube home page presents a window into political-YouTube with a Channel Bubbles visualization.

channel bubble visualization

This is a recipe for hit-pieces to run wild. Now, you could make an article, attacking someone for their “possible political leaning”, and use this platform as a means to justify it! It could jeopardize the freedom for people to express themselves and more importantly, stop people from hearing the opinions of another!

Now every time someone discusses something and shares his or her opinion on it, if the majority of a certain political leaning side doesn’t like it, they could write a hit-piece to tarnish that person’s reputation, or even persuade advertisers to steer clear from that platform altogether. I don’t see this ending well at all, to be honest! This is just another way to shame people or cancel someone you don’t like!

And the worst part about all of this, some YouTubers have contacted the website to have their political alignment changed but were outright refused. Stating that the website gives you your political “badge” based on your audience! So you could be a left-leaning channel, and have people who are usually right-leaning watch you, and because of that, you’d get labeled a right-leaning channel.

It’s not as if people like to hear what others have to say on a particular subject, regardless of political leaning in order to further understand their own stances.

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