Did you know that tags play a crucial role in helping users discover and organize content on digital platforms like YouTube, social media, and online forums? They can help users find videos on specific topics and can even help platforms recommend videos to users based on their interests. But just like any other feature, tags can also be abused and misused. In fact, YouTube has a policy against misleading metadata, and using irrelevant tags on a video is a violation of the platform's terms of service. Unfortunately, tag abuse has been a longstanding issue in the online community. In 2012, Google even made tags private on YouTube's public pages in an effort to stop some users from "abusing tags by copying them from other videos."

With these in mind, we are more interested in finding out:

The data used

The data we acquired comes from the platform “YouTube”, a free video-sharing social network. Data from 2005 until 2019 was extracted and further compiled into a dataset called “YouNiverse”. This dataset provides us with the metadata on videos that are in English, uploaded by anonymous users worldwide.

How do users use the tags?

The dataset includes tags used for each video, and by examining these tags, we may uncover some patterns. Therefore, before trying to find the videos with misused tags, we will first analyze the general behavior of the tags. While doing so, we will try to answer several important questions.

Do people go to great lengths to include tags in their videos?