Get rid of ridiculous faces: DeArrow extension crowdsources non-hideous YouTube thumbnails

Originally published at: Get rid of ridiculous faces: DeArrow extension crowdsources non-hideous YouTube thumbnails | Boing Boing

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She does indeed. If it’s got “reaction face” as its front end, I ain’t clicking!


+1 for Ajay’s (partial) use of ISO 8601 date format in his desktop: 2023-06-14.


So comforting to know I am not the only one annoyed by that style!


FIND OUT THE REASON SO MANY PEOPLE HATE THIS TYPE OF THUMBNAIL!!! #9 will shock your Doctor doesn’t want you to know! #gerkin


I keep hitting “I’m not interested in this” when I see “reaction face”, and now I rarely see it. Same technique as flagging spam as spam, and going into the spam folder and removing a few mislabelled spam.


My shortlist of warning-signs:

  • Arrows (obviously)
  • Circles (especially if not clear why something is circled)
  • Motion lines or blur for things that neither motion or blurring
  • Giant “?” or pixelation over something featured
  • More than 1 exclamation!! or question mark?? in text
  • F@#$in’ Grawlix
  • “_____, but/except ______” titles (eg. “Minecraft but it’s all water”)
  • Clearly 'shopped image in non-photoshop video

Lots of others, but they are more about personal preference. I’m sure some people prefer the things on the list above ('cuz they do get clicks!), but this has served me well for generally avoiding the poorly conceived or made.


found another one


Thought it was just me but i fecking hate them, it’ll usually put me off watching it.


There are a lot of really good content creators on YouTube who use the reaction face thumbnails, including Legal Eagle, Adam Neely, Rick Beato, and Charles Berthoud. They do this because it works. I agree it’s annoying, but these people are trying to get people to click on their videos, and this works. Veritasium has a really good video on the practice of thumbnails and titles and clickbait.


she doesn’t like this plug-in because it makes it harder to tell which videos suck

If you’re watching videos from unknown channels then maybe, but most of my browsing is from channels i’m familiar with so running into videos i’d dislike is less of an issue. The plugin sounds interesting, though i wonder if Youtube might bork the functionality somehow if enough people used it


What I liked most was the “honest title” part. Since the extension is of no use when I’m on my TV or mobile, I’d love to find a place where I can throw the direct link to the video and get a time saving short summary of the video which we used to get looking at the title or de description of the video.

I can say DeArrow ironically points a big fat neon red arrow to the problem of content databases degenerating as the “algorithms” take over and everything is classified, searched and retrieved in a way that favors the the big techs interests while hampering our ability to get good information quickly.

Now, can he add a filter for sewing/quilting videos to remove scissors used as pointers, and people pointing to stuff or holding up craft items (usually, but not always accompanied by slack jaw OMG reaction face).


I can see why people are annoyed by YouTube clickbait, but the creators I follow tend to use them in artistic ways - basically simplified versions of book or movie posters. It’s often better to figure out what the video is about than a random screenshot from the middle of the video…


Blame the algorithm, not the creators. People wouldn’t have to do stuff like this if the algorithm didn’t weight click-through so heavily.

I don’t use the arrows and faces in my thumbnails because I hate them too, but I understand why people do it. When your livelihood depends on YT’s stupid algorithm showing your video to a few more people, there’s not much you won’t do.


We should form a club.

I first noticed it when YouTube kept trying to get me to watch Mr Beast videos[1] - every. single. one. has that stupid expression. And then it began to spread until even quite sensible channels seem to use it.

[1] I might be the last person on Earth to have never watched any of his stuff.

The worst aspect of youtube is the ultra long ads. Sure, you can skip them, but I hate the implication

….posted on BB, which is essentially unusable for me without an ad blocker (crashes my browser) with how many ads are layered on top of it. :joy:

Ad blockers work fine on YT as well, though YT Premium is also honestly worth every penny. Paying for Premium also doesn’t screw creators like an ad blocker does. Creators get the same payout from Premium users as if they had watched the ads that aren’t shown.

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