Research and Ethics with YouTube

For over the past four weeks, I have been writing blogs about a personal niche that I find interesting, and that interest is YouTube. In my first two Blogs I discussed YouTubers whose content was focused on making video essays about gaming and Internet culture and how they operate their channels with sponsors/advertisements. I started to touch on YouTube’s algorithm and how people are getting recommended videos to these channels the more they watch related videos to gaming. This goes into the Ethnography research of internet culture and people who play games as these are the people who would be watching these videos. I myself do love watching these videos so I would be a part of this culture. The reason I brought up Algorithms is the reason why these videos do and don’t get the views like other channels do, as the algorithm only focuses on people who watch or are interested in these kind of videos, which is what I found interesting.

Background research

For the background research for this assignment, I had to mainly go off what I knew already to begin with. As someone who has spent the last 12 years of their life on this platform, I think I had a good idea on what to talk about. After talking about content creators (which I was familiar with) it made me think how the videos go around on the platform and why it gets recommended to people? A research from a collective of people at Pew Research Centre helped guide me on understanding the side of YouTube with algorithms and how it analyses data from users to know how to correctly recommend videos to keep the user on the platform as long as they can. I also looked into a report that was about the Anxiety of the YouTubes algorithm and how it can hurt channels getting views as they aren’t advertiser friendly (Bishop, 2018). Also going into content creation and content creators, I read about the reasoning of content creation (BUF, 2020). This helped me understand more about being a creator and the likeliness of being successful on the platform.


Observation is key when it comes to this topic, as this is something you need to go out and see for yourself. For this study, I will be joining discord servers and reddit forums to engage with the community and get their opinion on being a part of the ethnography of people who watch these videos, I would also like to ask how these videos got recommended to them and if they are content creators themselves.

Ethical issues

For the ethical side of this assignment, I will need to be considerate to the people I’m asking questions to. This is by.

  • Asking for consent if they would like to be featured in the report
  • removing names/identity if not wanting to be featured
  • Being respectful to people I interview
  • Properly reference to the sources I use

Bishop, S. (2018) ‘Anxiety, panic and self-optimization: Inequalities and the YouTube algorithm’, Convergence, 24(1), pp. 69–84. doi: 10.1177/1354856517736978.

BUF, D-M & ŞTEFĂNIÞĂ, O 2020, ‘Uses and Gratifications of YouTube: A Comparative Analysis of Users and Content Creators’, Romanian Journal of Communication & Public Relations, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 75–89, viewed 4 September 2020, <;.


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