Why I care so much about fake thumbnails(or why youtube is so indispensable to me):
I love learning IoT on youtube because it is easy(learn anywhere) and free. It is a perfect learning source for a working person like me who can’t afford to quit the job and go back to college for full-time education or doesn’t want to go through a full degree for one course that you like :). In case if you did not already, I invite you to take a look at my previous post about all the youtube channels that I subscribe to and keep watching to keep learning IoT stuff.
That being said, nowadays youtube became very distracting place because of fake clickbait thumbnails :(. This is how it usually happens,.. you notice a video with almost porn like thumbnail pic and a title related to religion or something about family which makes you think “what the hell, how is that possible” and increases your curiosity but turns out to be totally unrelated to thumbnail once you click on the video and watch it. Since the thumbnail and video metadata are not same, once you click on one of the spam videos, youtube starts showing video suggestions relevant to spammer’s video metadata(which is not probably what you would consider productive or meaningful).After clicking on a few of these in a curiosity-driven-autopilot mode, you realize what is happening and figure how your attention and enthusiasm for learning from quality content went down the drain in a downward spiraling fashion and start feeling cheated and demotivated. this leads you to start browsing some video game channels or new movie trailers. In the end, this leads to a very unproductive use of time for someone like me who gets distracted very easy by every facebook or WhatsApp notification and intentionally avoids them. I am sure if you’ve been using youtube at the least for over a month, you know what I am talking about :).
Every time you reach the end of this vicious circle of attention hijacking, there is a click bait scammers grinning devilishly knowing how predictable and easily manipulated the audience are and how much money they can benefit from the increase in views by hundreds of thousands (if not millions) simply because of hijacking user’s train of thoughts. I guess simply the joy of making fools out of millions of people adds to their happiness.
Fear not, all is not lost! youtube has given a weapon for us to fight back. it is just that it has been hidden deep in the forest like Excalibur sword in Merlin’s story. it is called….
Youtube thumbnail reporting feature !!!
here is a simple algorithm on how to access and use it,… Note: While reading a Comp-Sci Masters grad’s blog you should expect that I will start speaking in algorithms at some point 🙂
Step 1: Locate a video that made fool out of you and stole your valuable time which made you desperate for payback [Evil Grin]
Step 2: Locate and Click on three dots under the video to reveal “More” menu which contains Report menu item
Click on Report option
Step 3: Click on “Spam or misleading”
Select “Spam or Misleading”
Step 4: Select “Misleading thumbnail”
Select misleading thumbnail
Step 5: Relax and wait for the flagged video to be taken out or thumbnail changed by youtube.
Here is a link to Google’s policy center on the same topic (about removing videos ) if you are more curious about the process.