In a recent rewind video, Youtube has conveyed that it is aware that its ‘dislike’ button has become a weapon for mobs against creators on the platform and would be considering either a removal or making it difficult for organized attacks and abuse.
YouTube’s Project management director Tom Leung posted the update last week revealing that YouTube is discussing experiments that could prevent “dislike mobs” from running rampant. It could turn off rating counts by default, require an explanation for a dislike, remove just the dislike count or even remove dislikes altogether.
According to Julia Alexander on Verge “Dislike mobs are the YouTube equivalent to review bombings on Steam where a group of people who are upset with a certain creator or game decide to execute an organized attack and downvote or negatively review a game or video into oblivion. It’s an issue on YouTube as well, and one that creators have spoken out against many times in the past. Now, the company is planning to experiment with new ways to make it more difficult for organized attacks to be executed.”
Varied opinion has however trailed this new intention with some holding the view that this would mean curtailing the rights of viewers: Novi_Homines commenting on the article said “This is ridiculous. Its seems that Youtube wants to control the perspective of how things are portrayed. If people dislike a video it is their right. It’s not up to youtube to figure out a way to get around that. If they continue along this path, the “youtube controls perspective and voices” critique the right has been echoing would begin to have some merit. This is what happens when conglomerates begin to have a bit too much power”.
In different perspective, another user Blernsball noted “It’s pretty clear from the article that they want to stop dislike mobs. Which are not legit dislikes.”
Creators who engaged during the post have suggested that people who want to dislike a video should be made to sit through for 25%-50% of its entirety before voting a ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ to ensure that decisions are based on the actual video, and not just the title or subject matter.
Recall that Youtube’s ‘Rewind’ ( a video series produced and created by YouTube and Portal A Interactive showing an overview and sometimes a recap of each year’s viral videos, events, trends, and music) in 2018 set a record for the most dislikes. This has added voice to the growing issue for creators as a whole.
Leung has described in his post the most extreme option, would be just to remove ‘dislike button’ entirely while stating it would not be “as democratic,” since, “not all dislikes are from dislike mobs.” Leung says the YouTube Team would work towards making a decision soon.
So, let me ask you: What is your take on the ‘dislike button’ decision – to let it be, moderate it or remove it entirely? Please share in the comment session.