BRC044 Recommender Systems: Igor, Gabriela and their YouTube journey

Igor and Gabriela are fictional characters created by media researcher Dr. Jonathon Hutchinson. In his current project, Jonathon tries to uncover patterns in YouTube’s recommender system. For that purpose he created individual YouTube accounts for five different fictional characters and observed how differently YouTube’s algorithm treats them. Igor, a 40-something male living in Russia, Gabriela, a grandmother living in Brazil and the other characters are exposed to radically different video content when navigating the platform.

In the BredowCast Jonathon talks to Johanna Sebauer about researching digital spheres as an ethnographer, about how YouTube’s recommender system might influence people’s information behavior and what public service broadcasters could do to uphold information diversity.

Jonathon Hutchinson is a lecturer in online communication and media at the University of Sydney and currently a visiting fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI).


Dr. Jonathon Hutchinson


  • You can find all publications by Jonathon on his website

Johanna Sebauer (Host)

Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)