Ending Dislike Attacks on YouTube
Creators have a breathing space
Excellent news for creators who suffered from subjective dislike attacks for years. I enjoy watching YouTube for various reasons, like many other consumers. But, for me, the most important reason is to explore user-generated content across the globe and gain insights that are impossible to find in other ways. YouTube is a platform where creators of all sizes and backgrounds can share their content and find their voice.
YouTube gave voice to thousands of creators who brought remarkable insights to society. Some extraordinary creators couldn't make the traditional media for different reasons. But, of course, some average contributors just post content to get social or earn income with quick posts without putting much effort.
For several years, a single feature in YouTube has concerned, bewildered, and disappointed me drastically. It was the dislike button. When I saw an awesome video from all aspects seeing many dislikes in these high-quality, informative, and engaging videos did not make sense to me.
Later, I found out that there were some groups of people who didn't like a specific creator organized fake dislike attacks. This has been a concerning issue for years. It is inspiring that YouTube found an innovative solution to coordinated dislike attacks. I am glad the YouTube research team recognized this discouraging behavior for creators and stopped showing the dislike numbers.
However, the dislike button is still available and used to privately show the creators' insights through the analytics. But, public cannot see the number of dislikes anymore.
According to the YouTube team in the official blog, these attacks significantly dropped since they stopped showing the dislike numbers on videos. This is an excellent decision to keep the platform safer for creators.
You might ask why it matters.
Publicly showing dislikes might have a psychological impact on creators, especially for new ones. This perceptive metric discourages them from creating. Besides, the Internet is full of uncaring bullies targeting inspiring creators. There is also an envy factor for peers. Envy is a primitive human emotion, as I mentioned in an article titled How to Replace Envy with Admiration
Moreover, clicking on a dislike button is an effortless and quick action, perhaps even can be automated. It is also anonymous, so people can do it with no care. However, feedback is important to creators. Therefore, YouTube still keeps the comments in videos. Leaving comments takes effort, and also it is not anonymous. I believe creators can hide toxic comments.
Creating high-quality videos is time-consuming and requires intricate skills. Thus, creators make an effort and pour their hearts and soul into these videos. Unfortunately, some lazy people who have no appreciation for quality content can abuse easy-to-use tools like dislike. Besides, it is a subjective metric not adding any value. I am glad YouTube recognized this issue and took action.
Some people on social media argue that now with the removal of dislike, we won't know whether a video is a quality one or worth watching. With due respect, this argument does not make sense. In my opinion, the dislike feature does not serve a real purpose from a content quality perspective.
Video content is relative to the watcher. Not every video resonates with all consumers. Someone's trash can be the treasure of another person. Content quality is a matter of preference. For example, content belonging to a vegetarian might not be enjoyed by a carnivore or vice versa. This does not mean the vegetarian or carnivore diet video is not quality. It is up to each person to enjoy a piece of content or not. Someone's dislike does not necessarily show the value of content.
As I mentioned in this article, one of the remarkable pieces of Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper - Shallow, from A Star Is Born - received 162,000 dislikes on YouTube. This high-quality video, an award-winning piece, was watched by over a billion viewers but disliked by thousands of people. However, it was liked by over six million. These dislikes meant nothing to me, and I believe they did not matter to millions of people.
I am glad the YouTube team also confirmed this situation in the official blog mentioning: "We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform."
Creators need encouragement and piece of mind to produce. It is inspiring that YouTube found an innovative solution to coordinated dislike attacks. The official reason is, "We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves."
It is also great to see that other major social media platforms don't use the dislike button on content. Frankly, I don't believe the dislike feature can serve any purpose. I firmly believe that YouTube made an excellent decision to protect creators.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
The original version of this article is published on another platform.