My comment to, https://plus.google.com/+VicGundotra/posts/ePFHAvRmawb
Youtube is designed as an arena style entertainment experience, making 1 billion+ users anonymous emperors. Is it that surprising its comments section is considered the most hateful hub of humanity?
Sorry for that strong intro but I would like to raise awareness again about why the “thumb down” button (below each Youtube video) directly promotes hate and decrease intellectual/original/unconventional User Generated Content on Youtube (I don’t have yet an informed opinion on the new commenting system).
The thumb down has a very strong popular symbolic (only 17 seconds, please watch to understand what I mean after),Commodus Gives a Thumbs Down
The new commenting system won’t change that hate inducing behavior if the “thumb down” is still done anonymously without the requirement to see the video itself or leaving a comment. The “thumb down” doesn’t belong to the feedback category (that I value a lot) but is of another nature.
Google is aware of this when it changed the “red” color (in the like/dislike bar) to “grey” (a welcomed improvement) but somewhat cleaning the blood doesn’t change the nature of an arena.
Other video websites had the ethic to not do it or removed it (Dailymotion, Vimeo...) and “-1” or “dislike” is considered unacceptable on main social networks (Facebook, Google+), why not Youtube?
Beyond that “hate culture” what concerns me the most is the consequences for the people who had the courage or wished to create content and conversations beyond “entertainment”. I saw many come and gone, broken as the weak social animals they are. I tried to convinced others interesting people but the “hate” argument always came back. Heck even me I don’t have the courage to put myself in the Youtube arena.
Google will always answer: if you don’t like it don’t use it, no one forces you.
It sounds fair at first. But without serious competition, and being the first to reach critical mass, Google defines that new and powerful medium that is video literacy. That’s real power with global consequences.
I beg you Google to re-think again your stance on the thumb down button.
Thanks for everything you’re doing right.