Netflix's Algorithm Nearly Outed a Gay Teen to His Dad

Netflix makes no secret of the fact that it pays close attention to the shows you watch, analyzing your viewing habits in order to make recommendations of other content you are likely to enjoy. This also means that it will alter the promotional images you see for different movies and TV shows in order to highlight actors or themes that you have consumed in the past. (There’s a reason the ever-popular Melissa McCarthy is so often featured on the tile for Gilmore Girls, despite only playing a supporting role in that show.)

But according to a recent post on Reddit, that algorithm can be a little too accurate — especially if you’re sharing an account or still living at home. An anonymous 15 year old has just recounted how the streaming platform almost outed him when he and his father were scrolling down the home screen looking for something to watch together.

“If you know Netflix, they like to switch up the little posters about once every minute,” he said. “And this time they decided to put the one of the gay couple holding each other’s faces. I nearly got put in cardiac arrest.” Turns out, one of his recently watched shows was the sexy Spanish teen drama Elite, and Netflix thought that he might be enticed back into finishing the new season by a still of young lovers Omar and Ander.

“My father said something on the lines of ‘what’s that, go back’,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s what he was referring to or he found something he wanted to watch. Either way I lowkey pretended that I didn’t know what he was talking about and kept looking… I think my reaction just made it more suspicious.”

The heart-stopping moment passed, and he and his dad ended up finding something to watch. “Regardless, I was still scared shitless,” the guy said, adding that while his dad is a fan of some LGBTQ+ programming on Netflix like Queer Eye, he just isn’t ready to come out yet.

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