YouTube is looking at ways to experiment with the dislike button.
This according to project management director at the company, Tom Leung, who posted a video (featured below) last week explaining YouTube’s thinking, as well as detailing some fo the methods it could employ.
More specifically Leung says this proposed action is aimed at helping YouTube lessen the impact of “dislike mobs” running rampant on its platform.
While it’s difficult to determine if there are indeed mobs, as Leung describes them on the platform,the fact that the platform’s own Rewind 2018 video got the most dislikes on the site in record time may be a factor.
As for the methods that YouTube could turn, Leung says there are possibilities like requiring users to provide an explanation for a dislike, removing the dislike count or indeed omitting the dislike button altogether.
To Leung’s credit, however, he is abundantly aware that each of these experiments have their drawbacks, with him noting that explanations would create logistical headaches and removal of the button would be very un-democratic.
He also stated that YouTube might choose to leave the current system in place should none of the alternatives prove better. There’s also no timeline on when these experiments would be trialled out.
With YouTube continuing to disconnect from its creator community and earning the ire from its users for not listening to their concerns, it should prove interesting to see what the reaction to such a significant change to the platform would be.
Considering the dislike button is a great way of sending a message to creators, brands or YouTubers, removing it would look like a truly passive aggressive move on YouTube’s part.
That said, these experiments are not written in stone, and could be scrapped altogether.