Social media has a way of getting into peoples’ minds, especially for those who continuously present themselves online. In an effort to help new and smaller content creators, who are usually the target of dislike campaigns, YouTube’s new update involves hiding public dislike counts.
The YouTube team posted a blogpost explaining the gradual rollout of its latest feature on Wednesday, November 10. It explained, ‘We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves.’
‘This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment,’ it added. The video-sharing platform also clarified that creators will still have access to see existing metrics including the exact number of thumbs-down in YouTube Studio. The figures just won’t be visible to the viewers.
The removal of the thumbs-down button count may seem like a form of censorship for others since it’s their way to express if a video is worth watching, clickbait, or spreading misinformation. However, YouTube’s statement explained that viewers will still be able to dislike videos they watch for them to adjust their recommendations.
The move didn’t come out of anywhere as the video website conducted an experiment earlier this year. It discovered that since the numbers of dislike weren’t visible to viewers, they were less likely to target a video’s thumbs down button to drive up the count.
‘In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior,’ the statement added. ‘We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behavior — and our experiment confirmed that this does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels.’
While it could help budding content creators, it might also mislead others given that there are rampant cases of fake news online. Some people can still see video dislikes as of writing, but it would eventually be gone once the feature reaches viewers worldwide.
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