Netflix knows too much

I both enjoyed and was slightly unsettled by this, spotted by the Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman (full column here):

“A lot of people tell us they often watch foreign movies or documentaries,” Carlos Gomez-Uribe, Netflix’s algorithm chief, tells Wired magazine. “But in practice, that doesn’t happen very much.” If you’ve ever wondered why Netflix recommends so many films with low star ratings, meanwhile, it’s the same phenomenon at work: people give high ratings to critically acclaimed movies and lower ones to mass-market trash – but it’s the trash they more frequently watch. “We know that many of the ratings are aspirational, rather than reflecting your daily activity,” says another Netflix executive, diplomatically.

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