One of YouTube’s co-founders, Jawed Karim, has taken a strong stance against the company’s move to remove dislike counts from public view on videos.
The removal of dislikes is a terrible decision for a variety of reasons.
1. Dislikes are a great way to signal quality or lack thereof, so if you are looking for a good tutorial or instruction video where the speaker gives clear and helpful instructions, likes and dislikes allow you to easily sort through videos relating to what you are trying to find. Removing dislikes makes this process much more difficult and time consuming.
2. Apart from the inconvenience (which is honestly enormous when you consider that billions of people use the site for such purposes every single day), it also means that extremists who only care about promoting their ideology will be given an even bigger advantage over moderates now as, unlike those actually taking the time to verify the quality of the video, they will be able to like and comment on videos that appear to support their stance at a far faster rate ensuring that partisan and extreme content which studies have already shown increase both positive and negative engagement (the only negative form of engagement after this policy is implemented being comments which also boost the amount of views a video gets as the number of comments is one of the statistics YouTubes systems take into account when figuring out which videos to promote) becomes far more popular and will contribute to increased political polarization and the acceleration of the political binary in nations where YouTube is used to any significant extent.
3. The fact that a content creator can delete comments they don't like means that those who don't have the ability to distinguish between truth and fiction now lose not only the ability to look at the like / dislike bar and see if something fishy is going on but now their ability to find a comment which debunks the lies within the video are also far more difficult (even impossible if the content creator is determined enough) to find. This will lead to the spread of disinformation and clickbait and ultimately make it so that provocative content is given even more of an advantage over actual quality content in terms of what gets consumed.
4. Apart from the issues which are created by this decision, it also doesn't fix anything as the content creator would still be able to see the amount of dislikes if they go to look at their statistics and they can already turn off dislikes and comments as of now.
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