1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

YouTube looking at ways to tackle 'dislike mobs,' considers removing thumbs down button

By midian182 · 23 replies
Feb 4, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. In the world of YouTube, “dislike mobs” are akin to review bombing a game on Steam. It involves many people downvoting a video, often for reasons not related to its content. YouTube itself became a target when its Rewind 2018, an annual video montage featuring trends and memes from the past year, became the most disliked video ever in December. Some believe the lack of YouTubers such as PewDiePie, Shawn Dawson and Logan Paul contributed to the negative response.

    One of the worst effects dislike mobs can have is reducing the number of recommendations a video receives, thereby limiting its views and damaging the creator’s channel.

    To address the issue, YouTube has been “lightly” discussing several options. These include turning off rating counts by default, though this would mean viewers won’t know if a video has plenty of positive responses. Users could also be asked to click checkboxes stating why they disliked a video, something Leung says would be complicated to build.

    A better-sounding plan, which comes from YouTube creators, is only to allow someone to vote on a video once they’ve watched a portion of it, either 25 or 50 percent.

    Completely removing the thumbs down button is the most extreme option, but Leung said doing so wouldn't be “democratic” as “not all dislikes are from dislike mobs.” It would undoubtedly be the least-welcome choice among viewers, too.

    While none of these solutions might end up being used, it appears that Google is serious about taking on the dislike mobs, and it sounds like it’ll implement a solution more effective than Steam’s histograms.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2019
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,091   +1,542

    I'm all for them disabling the dislike button. You can't go to a single YouTube video no matter how innocent, innocuous, helpful or charming without seeing a bunch of down votes.

    And you know it's mainly a bunch of kids who think they're being cute by down voting anything and everything because they can.

    It really serves no useful purpose. And if a viewer truly dislikes a video, they can take the time to create an account and leave a comment (if allowed).
    bar9973 likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,356   +2,858

    I'm against the removal of dislikes. In my view, it reflects the video quality accurately enough, so people do not need to waste time on poor content.

    And likes without dislikes have no value. If you see a video with 1000 likes, and no dislikes, you may decide it is a quality content? But it would have 10,000 dislikes that aren't there, so you end up wasting your time, unknowingly, which will only irritate people.
    FF222, Digitalzone, Lurker101 and 2 others like this.
  4. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,394   +965

    I disagree. There are many videos out there that need to get downvoted; if it's the wrong walkthrough to a problem, or if the title doesn't match the content, or the content is just dumb, etc.

    A lot of the time it's an early warning to viewers as to what to expect (as the comments are based on popularity, but it's not a great indication about the content of the video IF they're enabled). Seldom is it just people joining the downvote mob, and that shouldn't be the driving force to think about removing it.

    I have a feeling that Youtube staff are feeling annoyed that their youtube rewind video got downvoted to hell, and are letting that influence how seriously they are looking at this unnecessary extreme. If anything, I would rather they go the Steam route and have a vote timeline (to show if at 1 point it got downvote bombed).
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 598   +1,201

    Problem is, vids including "young cancer survivor tries to get life back on track" to "guy saves a puppy from drowning" all get downvotes from some emotionally incontinent trolls going through their "I hate the world and want everyone else to know that" phase. Anyone with talent for something at a young age will also be the target of jealousy related downvotes. When only upvotes are "on topic" and downvotes are more on the voters self-pity than anything else, that can make many vids unfairly seem worse than they are. I'm not even going to start on political vids that get downvoted for not believing in dumb demonstrably false conspiracy theories.

    Most forums I've frequented that start out with only upvotes then add downvotes usually go downhill in tone and yet the opposite is rarely true of scrapping them. If there's a problem with the video, people will still upvote helpful comments. And most of the vids where downvotes actually outnumber upvotes usually need removing rather than downvoting (eg, clickbait (thumbnail isn't remotely on topic) or content was stolen from another channel complete with original watermark left in...)
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,356   +2,858

    On the side of it, a person who cannot face criticism will never make a good YouTuber or publisher in general.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    Digitalzone, psycros and Morris Minor like this.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,889   +1,164

    LOL, removing the dislike button so SNOWFLAKES don't get their feelings hurt.
  8. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,467   +1,253

    This is because YouTube have the most down voted video on their own site. That's the real reason they've done this. Rewind 2018 was terrible.

    That and Snowflakes struggling to take Criticism, Most YouTube "Drama's" happen because someone just can't take any kind of Criticism.
    Digitalzone, trparky and Morris Minor like this.
  9. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,836   +1,345

    Removing the dislike button would make videos with a lot of dislikes seem "positive" because all they have is likes. They want to intentionally mislead you with this ****.

    Think about the logic of doing this. They're gonna change a crucial piece of their whole site because of probably less than 1% of all videos are getting disliked "unfairily" and we don't know if even that's true.
  10. Inforanop

    Inforanop TS Rookie

    The Russian paid troll army dislike any video containing criticism of Putin or that comes from any legitimate news source in the West.Youtube is just one part of Russia's propaganda operation.
  11. Palladium1987

    Palladium1987 TS Member Posts: 29   +21

    Also, its amazing how virtually every Youtuber thinks spamming clickbait for their millions of ad income is their god-given right.
  12. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,618   +2,352

    Why is nobody stating the obvious solution? Replace the useless up-down votes with a proper rating system. They could have categories like:

    * Relevance of promo pictures, title and description to content
    * Video production and technical quality (including volume consistency, music, video effects and so on)
    * Presentation quality (narration, acting, etc)
    * Content value (informational or entertainment quality - the classic movie rating, essentially)
    * Uniqueness (is video a blatant copy or ripoff? Low score. Is it original but extremely derivative? Middle score. One of a kind? High score.)

    Viewers could assign a score for each aspect from one to ten with the default value being five. You'd have to vote on each category or your scores would remain at either default or null (depending on which is more fair mathematically..not sure). Comments could even have assignable tags for each of the rating categories allowing viewers to filter comments that relate to certain aspects of the video.
    Right side bob likes this.
  13. someOtherGuy

    someOtherGuy TS Rookie

    For you and the other modern hippies out there: disliking, hating and in general having negative feelings towards "anything" is part of the human condition. Removing the "wordily" way of expressing so (unable to downvote all the way to hate speech laws) won't stop it, it will only take it to the next level (if words won't work you'll be forced to act). This is just for you to become aware of what you're pushing.
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  14. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 483   +356

    It wasn't terrible... it was a dumpster fire!!! It was beyond terrible! To say it was terrible would make it the winner for the Understatement of the Year Award.
    Burty117 likes this.
  15. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 713   +339

    Whenever I see a rating system like that, I get lost and put either zeros or max score. I dont wanna spend more than a second to rate something
  16. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    They are completely missing the obvious way of fixing this problem. Take the dislikes out of your recommendation algorithm! Removing the button to fix the recommendations is overkill.

    which means this is clearly just about making Youtube a place where there are only 'Likes' If they want the toxicity out though, they'll have to do something about the comments.
    Draconian likes this.
  17. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 219   +139

    There's this YouTuber called Pat The NES Punk. He and his sidekick said something negative about the game Diablo a couple of months ago, it sounded insulting to the community, and ever since some of the hardcore members of the Diablo community organized themselves in order to dislike every new videos of his. 25% or so are thumbs down. It's kind of creepy, such organized effort. I'm guessing this is what YouTube is talking about, dislike mobs.
  18. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 483   +356

    I'm a fan of the Diablo series and even I know that it tends to suck at times.
  19. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 80   +16

    I approve of the Thumbs Down button and wish Facebook would add it.
    toooooot likes this.
  20. PcePce

    PcePce TS Enthusiast Posts: 75   +24

    Judging by the comments, hardly anyone actually read the article, which is hilarious given the topic.

    "A better-sounding plan, which comes from YouTube creators, is only to allow someone to vote on a video once they’ve watched a portion of it, either 25 or 50 percent."

    I like this idea, though I think any attempt to correct problems with a user rating system will be supplanting one issue with another. Adding complexity to your rating system is the best way to increase the accuracy/relevance of responses, but they, understandably, don't want a complex system. I.O.W., the current system sucks, but whatever one they go with would probably suck as well.

    The main issue with requiring people to watch a significant portion of a video is that many normal viewers who sincerely dislike the content and want to express that opinion would be required to watch something they dislike to do so. There's no chance I'd watch 50% of a video I dislike, or even 25% of a longer video. Maybe 10% is a more reasonable requirement.
  21. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 558   +65

    All they need to do is prevent voting until at least 25% of the video has played. Not only will it slow down such "swarm voting", but most people who do that will be unwilling to wait any length of time before voting.
    Danny101 likes this.
  22. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 558   +65

    FB had it and removed it.
  23. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 699   +259

    Recommendations might worked better if determined by likes, not dislikes.
  24. bar9973

    bar9973 TS Rookie

    I agree. Eliminating the dislike button would be the simplest and most effective solution. Most of my channel includes music videos I enjoy. They are not controversial however even the most popular videos often receive an inordinate amount of down votes. Although a small percentage of the down votes are probably by those who honestly don't have my tastes in music, the largest percentage are either frustrated with those who don't allow comments, have a personal dislike of the performers (or the poster) for political reasons etc or they get a thrill out of just being spiteful. I would say that too many people these days have little or no healthy interests consequently filling their vacant minds with destructive thoughts. Even some of those who are addicted to video games seem to have warped hateful minds with antisocial tendencies.

    Omitting the dislike button will likely increase the negative comments but at least there would be some accounting for the dislikes even if disingenuous. Sometimes I will visit the channel of someone who submits a negative comment, especially if overly insulting and vicious. More often than not their channel is either void of activity, flooded with video games or comprised of trivial videos as a pathetic attempt to show they have non-malicious interests however phony. If the music video doesn't reflect their taste I become curious as to what music they prefer. Then I discover that their channel has no music whatsoever which to me suggests insecurity about their musical tastes or maybe even an aversion to all music.

    At first I allowed comments on my channel but ultimately had to disable them because too much time and effort was required to adequately monitor and respond. The comments became more intrusive and less civil even though most YouTubers are terrific. Furthermore I think it would be disrespectful and unfair to the performers if I permitted malicious or rude criticisms.

    There's plenty of music and non-music videos on YouTube that I dislike but I just don't bother viewing them and I certainly don't submit a negative comment or down vote. On the other hand I've submitted many thumbs up if I truly like a video. For the most part I've really enjoyed YouTube although it seems to have more than its share of malcontents and sociopaths.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...