Ukrainian developer Taras Slivka created a browser extension called StopRU that helps users train YouTube not to recommend Russian-language videos. It is already available for Chrome and Firefox on computers, and according to the author of the project, it helped remove more than 220,000 Russian-language videos from YouTube users’ feeds out of 10 million analyzed.

StopRU - an extension for Chrome and Firefox that trains YouTube not to recommend Russian-language videos

The extension for YouTube works on the basis of an algorithm that filters out Russian-language videos. It checks the descriptions of the videos for the presence of letters that are present only in the Russian alphabet (ё, ъ, ы, э) and the absence of exclusively Ukrainian ones(ґ, є, і, ї), then removes them through the “Not interested” or “Do not recommend channel” options.

Unfortunately, not all Russian-language videos meet these parameters, but the developers note that this is enough. If the extension misses a video in one iteration, another video from the same channel will be removed in another, and this will provide the necessary feedback and signal to YouTube’s recommender system.

StopRU - an extension for Chrome and Firefox that trains YouTube not to recommend Russian-language videos

After installing the extension, select the required stopRU response to a Russian-language video or channel:

  • “Not interested” is the default option;
  • “Do not recommend channel”;
  • “Select, without any action.”

Everything happens imperceptibly for the user. Ideally, certain videos would disappear and be replaced by a “Video Removed” message when the page loads and the video is viewed.

After starting to use the extension, it is possible to cancel the action of stopRU, if the user considers the allocation of content to be erroneous, and to view the general statistics with the history of deletions.

On YouTube, the stopRU extension works as follows:

  • Main page – deletes;
  • Search page – shadows;
  • Trends page – shadows;
  • Videos page, recommended – deletes;
  • Video page, comments — shadows.

The stopRU extension is completely free, but you can support the development of the project on its website.