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👀 A glitch in the YouTube algorithm
#225 | A spotlight on Romani history
Last year, I withdrew from Facebook and Instagram (sometimes, I'll go back to Insta - reading my old posts is like reading a diary). For a millennial acutely aware of the perils of social media and yet chained to its ever-changing rhythm, this is a solid achievement, but not quite.
Getting off of these sites has meant spending less time stressing about whichever milestones friends, classmates, and random acquaintances have reached that I haven't - at 26, this is a BIG source of irrational panic. But it has also meant spending even more time looking at what strangers are doing and saying on YouTube and Reddit.
It's not like I don't consume ANY quality content. While I like to look at videos of what's going on inside our bodies and brains, a significant amount of the content that floods my YouTube feed, in particular, comes from celebrities and influencers.
I blame YouTube. (and myself, but let's not go there)
YouTube's algorithm has a penchant for pushing a) mindless (think a bunch of white teens trying to "walk" on the surface of a pool littered with balloons) and b) dangerous (think a bunch of white men with "hot takes" about how women are to blame for gendered violence) shorts to everyone, regardless of the preferences you indicate to it.
If I had a paisa for every time I've clicked 'Do not recommend' on one of these garbage videos, I'd have Five Rupees at least.
So imagine my surprise when out of the blue YouTube recommended a channel run by Florian, a young Romani creator who's sharing the history, culture and struggles of his people with anybody who wants to know. The Romani people, a diverse community of musicians, dancers and artists, migrated from the Indian subcontinent around a thousand years ago and have since faced hatred and violence across the globe. Most of us know the Romani as 'gipsies', but to the community, this term is a racial slur.
From Florian, I learnt about the possible origins of the Romani, the reasons why they left, and how their languages and traditions bear traces of their multicultural entanglements. I wholeheartedly recommend his channel and hope we can all learn from his work!
Much thanks to whatever YouTube algorithm glitch (pretty sure it was a glitch because, well, YouTube) made this happen.