Youtube Engages In an Experiment to Improve Content Creator’s Mental Health

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Youtube is testing how hiding dislike counts in videos can affect the mental health of content creators.

Content Creation

An online video-focused social media platform, Youtube is a better version of television. Unlike TV, people can select what they want to watch on Youtube. They can also click off them if they don’t like what they are watching or if their mood has changed. Aside from that, more content can be found on the platform than on TV or even on online video streaming sites such as Netflix. This is because Youtube is not exclusive to renowned show producers and directors. Instead, Youtube allows users to upload their videos and become content creators themselves. 

Youtube Engages In an Experiment to Improve Content Creator's Mental Health

This feature allows everyone to express themselves through the use of videos. Thus, the media platform can be used either to show one’s hobby or talent. It can also serve as a stepping stone for those who wish to be in the filming industry. Though, the most popular motivation is to use it as a source of income.

Once a content creator has gained 1000 followers, and his/her videos have attained 4000 minutes of watch time over the last 12 months, the creator can apply for the Youtube Partner Program (YPP). If the creator gets accepted, they can start monetizing their videos. In addition to that, they can enjoy other privileges. Such is the access to the Copyright Match Tool- which they can use to protect their content from infringement. 

Youtube is a space where anyone can become a celebrity. You would not need to have outstanding looks to be known on Youtube. Most of the time, you would not need a manager. Paying for advertisements is also optional. All you have to do to have successful growing Youtube views purchasing career is talent, quality content, and hard work. 

The Algorithm

Since Youtube is accessible to all, it is inevitable to have videos tackling the same topic or content of the same nature. To sort this out, youtube has an algorithm that determines which videos should be recommended. It also ranks these videos with the best-performing ones appearing at the top of the page. 

Youtube has stated that some of the qualities that are being considered for this are as follows:

  • How much time do people spend watching the video;
  • The number of likes, dislikes, comments, or shares does the video have;
  • How quickly does the video gain more views;
  • How new is the video;
  • The channel’s level of activity in terms of content creation; and
  • How much time do people spend on the platform after watching the video?

Naturally, these are the factors that should concern creators if they want to use Youtube as their only source of income. Unfortunately, one item on this list is causing some problems. That is, the dislike count.

The Dislike Button

As stated above, how many likes and dislikes a video has affects how the youtube algorithm advertises it. More likes push it up the scoreboard while more dislikes push it downwards. They serve as a grading system, a way for the users to rate their experience while watching the videos. 

Youtube Engages In an Experiment to Improve Content Creator's Mental Health

In addition to that, the dislike button is used by the system to see what kind of content the user does not like seeing. This feature helps with the tuning of their home page. 

From here, we can see how beneficial the dislike button is. So why tweak it?

The answer is because the button is sometimes utilized for malicious intentions. Some purposely increase the dislike count on a video to bring down the content creator. In this sense, the dislike button is not used to say the user does not enjoy the content but is used simply as a weapon. Possible root causes of this behavior are competition and personal vendetta. 

The Threat

This targeted campaign causes harm to the well-being of content creators. What the creators put on youtube is their craft. Of course, they would be heartbroken when they see that the videos have garnered lots of dislikes. 

It is troublesome for content creators because this will lead to lots of bad things. For one, the algorithm will put their content lower into the priority bracket. Two, even if a user manages to find the videos, the number of dislikes will make them not watch. Last and most importantly, the creator might feel hated. Especially if they did not know why there are so many dislikes in their videos.

This campaign can cause the creator to become insecure. They might feel that they are untalented and are not suited for the job. They might lose motivation and the possibility of them quitting becomes high. When they are very passionate about what they do, this can quickly escalate and affect their mental health. 

The Proposed Solution

Though the number of dislikes in the video affects how the system sees them, it is often not the attackers’ motivation. They might even not know about it. What they want to accomplish is to discourage others from viewing the content. Because they are tricked to believe that the video is disliked by many, the plan succeeds. One may argue that they practically do the same thing, but there is a possible solution for one of them. 

Youtube’s proposed solution to this unethical activity is to hide the dislike count on the videos. This change will hopefully stop the negativity without removing the dislike button. 

Perhaps you are wondering why to keep the button in the first place. As stated above, the dislike button helps the algorithm. Once the issue with the targeted campaigns is solved, it will do more good than bad.

Youtube Engages In an Experiment to Improve Content Creator's Mental Health 

While hidden from other users, content creators can still see how many dislikes their videos are getting. This will serve as their feedback. However, unlike before, it will not affect the decision of those who will find their video. This will let them decide on their own. 

The solution will hopefully prevent future cases of targeted attacks from happening. Optimistically, it should also reduce the damage done by previous ones. This adjustment might be what the victim channels of such campaigns need to make a comeback.

Unless the testing is finished, however, these things remain hypothetical. But we all hope it becomes a success.

Date: April 27, 2021 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: Joy P


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