YouTube vs. Plausible Deniability

So while I was looking at my YouTube homepage, I discovered that they’ve added a feature. In the “Recommended for You” box, they not only have videos they recommend, but also the justification. So when I pull the page up, my girlfriend can not only see what videos YouTube recommends for me, but what videos I watched previously that made them think I’d like that. Now she knows that I’ve watched every episode of Kkotboda Namja, a Korean teenage soap opera, and that I may have a “thing” for Christiane Amanpour. Before, I could always just say that their algorhithm was screwy, and that there was no particular reason for YouTUbe to recommend these videos for me. Now I have my whole history laid bare.

Two words: browse incognito.

Well, I’m not that ashamed. It’s not that the recommendations are so wrong (they were once: I used to have friends in a band called New Math. When their '80s vintage videos were posted on YouTube, I favorited all of them, and then got suggestions for videos on how to do algebra). I’d just like to be able to blame the lame suggestions on the algorithm, so I don’t have to own them.

My home page just has the recommendations, but no explanation. Maybe it’s an option you turned on by mistake.

(Dear YouTube, just because I’m a “Doctor Who” fan doesn’t mean I want to see a video for John Barrowman’s “Please Remember Me.” Thank you.)