By Faith Nyasuguta
YouTube has announced that the tally of the thumbs down or ‘dislike’ clicks on posted videos will no longer be visible to the public in a bid to shield creators from both harassment and targeted attacks.
According to critics, the public tally of likes or dislikes on social media is harmful to the well being of creators and so far, both Instagram and Facebook have allowed users to opt out.
Despite the new move, consumers on the Google-owned video sharing platform will still be able to click the “dislike” button below a clip. However, they will no longer see the negative review count.
“To ensure that YouTube promotes respectful interactions between viewers and creators… we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks,” YouTube said via a statement.
“Our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.”
Content creators — the social media stars who draw crowds online — will be able to see the number of thumbs-down icons their clips garner.
According to YouTube, smaller scale creators or new creators alleged being unfairly targeted in attacks, where people gang up to scale up the number of dislikes on videos.
The new changes have come in the wake of frequent accusations by lawmakers , watchdogs and regulators on major social networks and video platforms for doing very little to combat online harassment.
Currently, Facebook is battling one of its most serious reputational crises ever, sparked by leaked internal documents revealing that the executive knew of the potential harm of their platforms.
The disclosures from the leaks by ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen have put fresh impetus behind the talk of regulating Big Tech companies.
The worry about Facebook’s looming harm has affected other platforms with TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube trying to convince US senators in a hearing last month that they were safe for their young users