Do you have a highly suggestive personality?
Inception, what a marvellous cinematic experience, many of us who watched it were left confused, intrigued, wondering if it was all a dream.
One of the main takeaways that stays with me through this day, is the idea of “Post — Hypnotic Suggestion” — if you’re not familiar with the idea, or would like to learn more; I’ll leave a link here.
This technique is employed by both Hypnotists and Magicians, but it has found its way into deeper AI Algorithms.
Let’s test this out,
Here’s what occurred today, if you are amongst a select others (including myself, my colleagues, and my group of friends), and were browsing through YouTube; you might have come across a recommendation to a video regarding the China’s Daredevil.
The video details an accident which occurred in 2017, of an individual who tragically lost his life in an accident during a parkour exhibition.
Uploaded in December, 2017; by a channel under the name of “GigTrooper”.
The video suddenly started racking up views, although there has been very little activity as is evident in the comment section of the clip; until recently.
The video in question, with references to the comments down below.
Comments from the video highlighting the odd recommendation.
As an experiment, I too left a comment (only to take it down later, since the matter concerns a death) simply asking “Who else searched ‘Parkour Fails’ after watching this?”.
The responses were astounding, many even highlighting as though we were able to read each others minds — well not exactly.
We’re not reading each other’s minds, we’re falling victim to a similar phenomenon of “Post — Hypnotic Suggestion”.
What the clip captures is failure, death, fear, anxiety, thrill, but most importantly an act gone horrible wrong.
It’s planted a simple “suggestion”, hence depending on how highly suggestive your personality is — you were likely to search ‘Parkour Fails’ shortly after.
My friends and colleagues were compelled to do the same.
Here’s the problem; not one single person responded by saying,
“That’s horrible! I don’t want to watch Parkour Fails. Those people died”
We were simply fed a suggestion, and like drug addicts we compelled to pursue it without feeling any remorse.
We followed a chain reaction, simply occurring through a seemingly random video suggestion.
After an investigation, clicking into the channel “GigTrooper” reveals further information about the channel with is quite intriguing; let’s have a look.
The Channel has a total of 28 Video Uploads, with the most recent being 2 days ago.
The Average View count (Not including the China’s Daredevil video); reveals that the videos average anywhere between 21 views (being the lowest) and 319K (being the highest).
Leaving the China’s Daredevil video circulation at 2.6M Views — as the only anomaly.
It’s not just the Upload Timings and Sudden View Count that is interesting to note, the channel has less than 4,000 Subscribers with very few quality uploads.
The Activity on the channel hasn’t been necessarily consistent, and further does not justify the sudden spike.
So what’s happening here, is this a spike due to a sudden interest in China’s Daredevil or YouTube’s Algorithm exploiting on “Suggestive Behaviour” — maybe even as a promotion tactic for the channel.
It’s worth noting the channel does not seem to have consistent “Content Subjects” — the uploads seem pretty random, to say the least; I’ll let you be the judge.
A further google search of “China’s Daredevil” reveals that there isn’t much recent activity nor developments surrounding the subject matter to justify the sudden spike in view counts for the video in question.
It’s worth questioning the validity of the recommendation,
Since it was this very month the video was uploaded, a year ago.
Was the sudden interest in China’s Daredevil pure coincidence?
Is it just another Algorithmic Anomaly to exploit “Suggestive Behaviour”?
Now, think of this — if a video suggestion could trigger such a response, what else might social media “suggest” you to do?