De-Mainstream YouTube is a browser extension for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and other browsers based on Firefox or Chromium code, that reduces the bias of the YouTube algorithm in regards to mainstream media.
YouTube’s algorithm has changed significantly in the past couple of years. What you may have noticed is that the site tends to favor certain publishers — usually larger well established ones — and that this is reflected in the site’s trending section and when you search for content on the site.
Tip: check out SponsorBlock for YouTube if you want to skip sponsored ads in YouTube videos.
De-Mainstream YouTube comes with two main features to address this: first, by returning videos in the trending category by view count and second, through integration of a blocklist that may be used to block certain channels on YouTube.
Note that the custom blocking feature did not work at all during tests; this will hopefully get corrected in an update.
The extension requires one extra permission to work on the youtube domain. It works automatically after installation as it comes with a set of mainstream channels that it blocks outright on the site.
You can check the list with a click on the extension icon in the browser’s toolbar. There you find options to deselect every channel (unblock) to start using the extension without any banned channels or to deselect individual channels instead that you like included on YouTube. Channels like Fox News, Buzzfeed, ESPN, The Verge, or Vox are all blocked by default by the extension.
You may notice the absence of these channels when you run searches on YouTube. While the list of channels the extension comes with may be handy for some users, the ability to block custom channels is even better, if it would work.
I tried the blocking functionality in various Firefox and Chromium versions, and it did not work in any of them. Theoretically, it allows you to block any channel that you come across so that it is excluded from results as well by the extension.
Extensions like VideoBlocker or YouTube Recommended Blocker may be used for that; then again, you may use these to block the mainstream channels you encounter as well which would make De-Mainstream YouTube superfluous.
The main thing that the extension has going for it currently is that it comes with hundreds of pre-set channels that it blocks automatically. If the developer manages to add blocking so that it actually works, it could very well become a great option for users who don’t want to be exposed to mainstream sources on YouTube.
Now You: do you use YouTube regularly? Is the site biased?