This YouTube channel investigates weird, bogus, and creepy food videos

Originally published at: This YouTube channel investigates weird, bogus, and creepy food videos | Boing Boing


Ann Reardon is just the best. As is her poor husband, who has to taste whatever the latest internet thing is she’s testing. Reasoned debunkery by pleasant personalities can never be a bad thing.


Ooo a new one. I watched some of her videos like this in the past and loved them. As someone else said, her husband really takes one for the team.

“Do it for the likes, honey.”


I love the look on his face whenever she gives him something to try. She keeps him on his toes: sometimes, it’s a horrid fake recipe from a website that almost sets her microwave on fire. Sometimes it’s something she actually cooked to show how it could be done if it wasn’t fake. So sometimes he gets to eat something good, sometimes something nasty. He just never knows for sure which it’s going to be.


Sadly no mustard filled twinkies.

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Pinterest is terrible for these too, and I’m sure the root of many SEO scams. Like I saw one for teachers that made me mad. Add baking soda to mountain dew to create glowstick paint for pavement. And a pic clearly of a glowstick that had been poured into a Mt. Dew bottle.

The fact it was marketed to teachers who were supposed to do this with kids - yet clearly so bogus and EASILY disproved by kid-level science methods. But I’m sure they know burned out teachers are clicking to add pins like this to idea boards with no intention of ever doing it.


I like this. My daughter, who’s really getting into baking should be watching these videos. I’ll make sure she avoids those really odd and inappropriate content farm baking stories videos.

These algorithmic content farms are really interesting to me - the viral cooking videos in particular, because they’re often so weird and, well, dumb. In this case I’m wondering how the heck the inappropriate narratives got joined with the cake decoration videos. I’m assuming it was because the audio was available somewhere (I’m assuming if you searched hard enough, you’d find the source for them all), and whoever joined the two liked the voice and didn’t understand English. Uncookable recipes that some human came up with as clickbait will, more and more, get replaced by content that’s completely computer generated. I’m not sure it’ll be any weirder, though.

Content that gets policed by algorithms can’t keep up with those people trying to abuse them, however. So sites like Youtube will end up buried with algorithmically-generated nonsense that swamps out real videos - Amazon already has a serious problem with machine-made nonsense garbage books making it hard to find real content, sometimes even getting promoted to the point where they’re on equal footing with the books they’re aping, and people buy them and then get mad at the authors of the real books.


Presumably including a narration in English gives some advantage in gaming the algorithm but the content of that narration doesn’t otherwise matter.

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Yeah, that’s my assumption, or perhaps they were just slavishly adhering to the standard form for these things - usually people have computer-voiced narratives of what they’re doing, but in this case, I imagine no one involved knew English so couldn’t even provide appropriate text, but did it anyways. It’s hard to know how much of what they’re doing is based on how the algorithms they’re trying to game actually work, and how much is a cargo-cultish aping of form without knowing what’s working and what isn’t. The latter could result in more (unnecessarily) weird results.

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I’m a big fan of her videos. What a clever way to get people to think about how AI algorithms work. While also debunking some truly dumb cooking “hacks.” Just flipping learn how to make a cake. It’s not that hard to read a recipe.

I haven’t watched her videos in a while, but really appreciated when she first started debunking these things.

And I guess a lot of others else did, as well.

I began noticing when these fake “food hacks” viral videos really started going around with obviously wrong advice. Yet they were being shared by everyone and almost nobody else was criticizing them for being wrong. Not even talking about food vloggers. Just talking about the comments section. Maybe one person saying they tried it and it failed surrounded by thousands of “yay this is awesome!” type comments.

Which led to the depressing realization that almost nobody watches these things to actually learn skills.

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Why is AI obsessed with serial killers? Should we be worried?

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I see decorating videos all the time in my Facebook feed. I’ll fast through a lot of them because they are pretty cool by some talented bakers. I’ll have to start listening to the audio to see if I’m being fed any of these creepy ones.

Long before it was a thing, the joke in our family was what is my wife or Aunt tcg550 making this year that she saw on the internets.

The best and the one that will be talked about at her memorial is the igloo made out of cream cheese with penguins made from olives and carrots. This is from years ago, she’s gotten a lot better with decorating food and baking. There is a waiting list for her baklava.


That’s legit amazing.

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