Lil’ Hank Williams in the Walmart Aisle

This article is part of Watching YouTube, a Slate series about YouTube.

YouTube’s trending page can be an eye-opener: It’s an ever-changing list of YouTube’s hottest content at any given moment, as so deemed by algorithmic alchemy, views and likes, and—presumably—a trained rabbit pulling random numbers out of a hat. But the trending page is not a universal metric of video hotness. Trending pages vary by country, and what is popular in the United States may be very different from...

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