(PresidentialWire.com)- Google’s YouTube announced last week that it is removing the “Dislike” count on videos shared across its platform. While users can still click the “Dislike” button, the down-vote counter will be set at private so that nobody can see just how many people disliked a video.
Now YouTube claims that they’re doing this to “protect” their content creators. But some believe YouTube’s reasons might be self-serving. The most disliked video in the history of the platform was YouTube’s own “YouTube Rewind 2018.”
YouTube first ran an experiment in March to see if removing the dislike count would reduce “dislike attacks” and “creator harassment,” claiming at the time that public dislike counts affect a creator’s well-being and could motivate harassment campaigns.
YouTube experimented with several designs to remove the dislike counts. And the one they settled on is showing the word “Dislike” underneath the thumbs down button instead of displaying the total number of dislikes the video receives.
Not surprisingly, some wonder if this is another way for Google to hide from the public just how unpopular President Joe Biden is. The Like/Dislike ratio on videos from the White House’s YouTube account is frequently out of kilter – with the “dislikes” far outpacing the “likes.”
For example, on November 6, the White House posted a video of President Biden announcing the passage of the so-called “Bipartisan” $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill. The video has accumulated only 442 “likes” since then. Meanwhile, the number of “dislikes” clock in at 3.4 thousand.
YouTube believes that the change will help protect content creators from harassment and “dislike attacks” from coordinated groups swarming videos to click the “dislike” button.
Unless YouTube’s content creators are so thin-skinned that a flood of dislikes could be considered “harassment,” that seems like a flimsy excuse. Especially when you consider these content creators can still view the total “dislikes” a video receives in their analytics. So if it’s “harassment,” wouldn’t this so-called “harassment” still exist?
The only thing that’s changing is YouTube viewers won’t see the total dislikes. Content creators still can.
No. This is about keeping users from knowing just how unpopular certain videos are.
But it may not just be about protecting President Biden. It is more likely YouTube is trying to protect those content creators who are ideologically aligned with the Left. For example, when Gillette razors released its anti-toxic masculinity commercial in 2019, it quickly became one of the most disliked YouTube videos of all time.