An interactive visualization of channel categories
This month: August 2020
Mapping YouTube: A quantitative exploration of a platformed media system
Over the past 15 years, YouTube has emerged as a large and dominant social media service, giving rise to a ‘platformed media system’ within its technical and regulatory infrastructures. This paper relied on a large-scale sample of channels (n=36M+) to explore this media system. In line with longstanding assessments of other networked platforms, YouTube appears to be dominated by a small number of elite channels. Far from the often-cited Pareto ratio of 80/20, the 153k elite channels above 100k subscribers, a mere 0.42 percent of our total sample, account for 69.2 percent of subscribers and 62.4 percent of views. Similar patterns continue within the elite tier, where the 15,496 channels (0,04 percent) with more than 1M subscribers account for a little more than a third of all views on the platform.
   
Also this month
Get lost, troll: How accusations of trolling in newspaper comment sections affect the debate
Trolls have been known to create a hostile environment in comment sections, often motivated by attention seeking and amusement. In recent years, following the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election of 2016, trolls have also been accused of actively undermining the Western political climate by using social media to divide political opponents. In this study, comments from three U.S. news sites were sampled and analyzed to investigate how accusations of trolling are made, and how debates are affected by such accusations. The results showed that right-wing commenters were more likely to be accused of trolling, and that these accusations seem to have been motivated by political differences. Accusers would either challenge the suspected troll, critique the effectiveness of the perceived trolling, make fun of the suspected troll, or simply warn other commenters about their presence. While debates often continued after an accusation of trolling had been made, the accuser and the accused rarely participated further. The results suggest that accusations of trolling do not have any major impact on the debate.