Science by YouTube: an Analysis of YouTube’s Recommendations on the Climate Change Issue




Science communication, YouTube, recommendation system, climate change, filter bubble


Citizens increasingly use online platforms, and in particular YouTube, to get informed. This paper addresses the role of YouTube’s recommendation system in science communication to assess whether YouTube's recommendation system is creating filter bubbles on the climate change issue. It, therefore, contributes to the growing literature that finds that such filter bubbles actually do not exist. The paper shows that users are likely to get content with similar opinions, at least for a few recommended videos in a row. In addition, it was observed that the same promoters of climate denial appear over and over again in different recommendations. Given all that, YouTube can lead to the creation of filter bubbles where users do not have access to all relevant scientific information.

Author Biographies

Pınar Dündar, TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey)

Pınar Dündar is a chief expert researcher at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK, Turkey). She holds MSc in Geological Engineering from the Middle East Technical University (Turkey) and MSc in New Media and Society in Europe from the VUB Brussels (Belgium). She continues her Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Hacettepe University, Ankara. She has managed several science and society projects and has diverse experience in writing science articles and press releases for technical and general audiences. Her main interests include science communication, social media, and science writing.

Heritiana Ranaivoson, imec SMIT, Studies in Media, Innovation & Technology Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Heritiana Ranaivoson is Senior Researcher and Project Leader at imec-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium). He holds a MSc in Economics and Management from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan and a PhD in Industrial Economics from Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has led several projects for the European Commission (H2020, study contracts), UNESCO, Google, etc. His main research interests include cultural diversity, media innovation, and copyright economics.




How to Cite

Dündar, P., & Ranaivoson, H. (2022). Science by YouTube: an Analysis of YouTube’s Recommendations on the Climate Change Issue. Observatorio (OBS*), 16(3).