WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- In response to hate campaigns, YouTube is doing a “small experiment” involving the removal of the dislike counter on videos.
- It aims to discourage hate as cyberbullies won’t be encouraged by dislike buildup.
- Some support the move while others think that the effort is insubstantial to protect bullied creators.
YouTube is trying to spread more positivity, but not everyone agrees.
Acting on “well-being and targeted dislike campaigns,” the video-sharing platform has started hiding the dislike counter from the public.
While the dislike button will still be provided for viewers and the number of clicks is still being monitored on the backend, the counter will no longer be displayed. YouTube is hoping that this will help in generating more support and that the invisibility of dislikes will discourage cyberbullying.
“In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count,” YouTube said via Twitter, adding that users included in the “small experiment” might notice that the number that usually appears below the thumbs-down icon is missing.
“Creators, you’ll still be able to see the exact number of likes and dislikes in YouTube Studio,” they continued. “For viewers, if you’re in the experiment, you can still like or dislike a video to share feedback with creators and help tune the recommendations you see on YouTube.”
While YouTube gained support from around 28,000 people who liked the tweet, others criticized the move, seeing it as an insubstantial effort to help bullied creators.
“GUYS we’re going to SOLVE BULLYING by making it so that ONLY the victim can tell they’re being bullied! It’s GENIUS,” one Twitter user mocked.
“This isn’t helpful. [You’re] not fixing creator feedback, [you’re] limiting user judgment,” said one critic, whose response was liked by 1,200 on Twitter. “As a user I need to be able to see what the ratio of a video is so I can see if it’s worth the time to watch or if I should move on to another video.”
Some speculations in the thread pointed out that the White House videos under President Joe Biden’s term could be the subject of a “targeted dislike campaign” — contrary to Donald Trump’s White House footages which received a suspiciously inflated ratio of “likes” to “dislikes.” According to one follower, this might have prompted YouTube to try restoring balance.
In a similar effort earlier this month, Tiktok rolled out some new features to “foster kindness and community.” Filtering comments to give more control on which comments would be visible to the public was among the changes. Tiktok also added a comment prompt to “reconsider posting a comment that may be inappropriate or unkind.”
Source: New York Post