Sunday, 10 November 2013

Disabling the YouTube rating system

Hello, it's been a while but this evening I'm feeling inspired to share with you what's on my mind. As many of you know, this year I started my YouTube journey, sharing my thoughts and experiences with the world. For the most part I've enjoyed my adventure but there is a part of it that angers me so much that it has prevented me from uploading in the past weeks, and that is the 'dislike' button. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the world of YouTube, a ratings system is in place that enables registered users to rate videos they like and dislike by either giving them the 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down'. Now I fully respect users rights to have an opinion on a video or subject matter within it but I think if selecting the latter of the two ratings you should be prompted to leave a comment expressing why. Alas, as the system stands users can simply hit the 'dislike' button without giving any justification at all. And this is what angers me, of late irrespective of the subject matter or style of the video, each of my uploads have received negative ratings within a few hours of them being uploaded. Five to be exact, logging into YouTube and viewing my recent videos will highlight this. 
At first I thought they were random dislikes but with their frequency and the fact that I have five anonymous subscribers on my channel I now believe that these are the trolls, too cowardly to leave a comment on each video and instead hiding behind a faceless, ill-conceived negativity outlet with little better to do than bully and irritate those who do have the confidence and ability to compose and produce content on a global platform.  Whilst I respect that some people wish to remain anonymous on social media sites I do believe that Google should have a system in place that automatically restricts account access or blocks altogether users accounts who continually down vote content and whose accounts were created with the sole purpose of trolling content creators and their respective channels. How does it benefit anyone to see a 'thumbs down' on a video? 

And this leads me to where I think the negative ratings feature should go: Users should continue to have an outlet for expressing concern relating to objectionable content/material this could be implemented via a 'report this content' type button, prompting users to complete a brief form and submitting this for consideration by YouTube moderators. Only after consideration by the powers that be should a video be removed or flagged to users as having received substantial user complaints. Of course, if the 'thumbs down' option is kept then I think said user/troll (delete as applicable) should be required to leave a reason for the negative rating, this would help the content creator to determine how to improve future videos eg: Lighting, sync issues, subject matter. As I have said in a previous video, no one minds a user having an opinion but say it so that everyone can see it. 

With the above in mind I have decided to remove the ability to rate my videos. Instead I would like to ask my subscribers to simply engage in the community aspect of YouTube by continuing to leave comments on my videos and to share my creations with similarly minded friends and family members. I love to engage with those taking the time to comment on my videos and do not for a second wish this to change, I just cannot sit back and allow my videos integrity to be called into question by mindless trolls who have nothing better to do than bully and intimidate YouTubers. Not only is it hugely disrespectful to continually behave in this way (my opinion, many will disagree) but it adds nothing to the YouTube experience. Why should mine and other hard working creator's contributions be tarnished and disrespected in this way? I know that many people will see my decision as simply giving in to the trolls, but I see it more as 'flipping them the bird' by taking away their only tool of trolling. By all means I invite and encourage them to comment on my videos with their criticism (hopefully it would be constructive) but, given past opportunities, I doubt this will happen. 

I hope those of you who have been supportive of my uploads will understand my decision and will continue to support me in the ways I have requested above. I enjoy sharing videos with you all and hope to have more to share with you shortly. 

Thanks for reading.


  1. Youtube is the biggest social site with a dislike button. It is very important for me, it's the reason I use youtube and not facebook or g+.
    If I see a video with 1000+ votes and 80%+ dislikes, I leave immediately, because I know it's a troll video. When I see a video with disabled ratings, I leave immediately, because I know it's a troll video... or of someone who doesn't want my opinion anyways.
    On failbook/g+ if I see something with 5 likes I don't know if it was seen by 5 people and all of them liked it, or by 10000 people and 9995 of them hated it. Yes, I can make my own mind, but I do not want to waste my time on stupid and useless videos.

    1. Thanks for commenting,

      I can understand why you feel as supportive as you do for the dislike button. I too find it useful as a content subscriber. However, as a content creator, of which I am, I think it needs a major overhaul. The reasons for which I have expressed in my post.

      I disagree with your opinion about disabled rating videos 'not wanting your opinion anyway' if creators didn't want your opinion I don't think they'd be creating content for the world to see in the first place. The best way to express an opinion is through the comments section. A faceless thumbs up or down does little in the grand scheme of things. I much prefer interacting with my subscribers this way. This way I can get a feel for what people want me to discuss/review.

      I think you can get a feel for what value a video holds within a few minutes of watching and the example you give, albeit extreme, does make sense.