Will YouTube Remove “Dislike” Icon From Public View?

As reported on TechCrunch and elsewhere, YouTube is considering hiding the dislike count from videos posted on their platform. They are currently running tests and if they decide to go ahead with this, the dislike icon will still appear and be clickable, but only the content creator will be able to see the count. Presumably, the “like” count will still be publicly viewable.

YouTube claims the idea is based on creator feedback, saying content creators complained that viewing the dislikes affected their “well being.” This is a rather thin justification, since creators would still see the dislike count internally, it just wouldn’t be public. Perhaps by not making the count public, people will not have the incentive to click the dislike icon?

Considering how valuable the dislike count can be towards alerting people to videos that are misleading or clickbait, concern about content creator “well being” seems like an excuse. What’s really going on could be an attempt to suppress “dislike mobs” that descend on select videos to pump up the dislike counts. But so what? And why now?

What YouTube is considering has to be considered in the context of what YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and all the major online communications platforms have been doing since at least 2016, which is to consciously manipulate public opinion. Stuck with a business model that rewards anything that is gross or offensive, they’ve taken it upon themselves to compensate by censoring political speech they disagree with and promoting political speech they support.

In this context, the timing is suspect. As Paul Joseph Watson observed in a recent Tweet, “Official White House YouTube team gonna be overjoyed at this.” A quick look at the official White House YouTube channel shows exactly what Watson is getting at. The dislike counts on Biden’s videos consistently outnumber the like counts by a ratio of between five and ten-to-one.

A Politifact analysis from January 2021 actually confirms that already, “YouTube may have removed ‘spam’ dislikes from a video posted by the White House after President Joe Biden took office.” It’s a safe bet that YouTube never removed any “spam” dislikes from Trump’s official videos.

Big tech, certainly including YouTube, has gone to a lot of trouble to protect the interests of Democratic candidates and causes, and to disparage and suppress dissenting voices. That makes it entirely plausible that hiding the dislike count will be a decision motivated at least in part by a wish to protect the president they got elected from any unnecessary embarrassment.

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YouTube Bans Trump’s CPAC Speech

It would be interesting to ask anyone who still thinks YouTube has the right to take down a speech by an ex-president of the United States, if they even listened to it. Because if questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election is now openly censored by every major communications platform in America, and it is, then why was the four year assault on the legitimacy of the 2016 election not also censored?

America’s mainstream media, most definitely including the online communications monopolies known as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, spent four years actively promoting “misinformation” in the form of questioning the legitimacy of the Trump presidency, but now they are actively suppressing “misinformation” that questions the legitimacy of the Biden presidency. And they’re doing this, despite ample evidence that Biden’s election was far less “legitimate” than Trump’s.

Read the transcript of Trump’s CPAC speech. He used the word “election” 42 times in that speech, nearly every time in the context of questioning its integrity. And he’s probably going to keep on doing that in every speech he delivers from now on, as he should. America’s election “integrity” is a joke, and Democrats in Congress are doing everything they can to institutionalize the sham procedures that will destroy forever any remaining trust by voters in the integrity of their elections.

What are they thinking at YouTube? That it’s ok from now on to censor the speeches of an ex president, based on remarks he makes that are supported – despite the blatant, offensively false misinformation coming from every “trusted” news source in the country – by ample evidence? YouTube even suspended the RSBN channel for posting the speech, singled out because they have posted every speech by Trump. Exactly how will RSBN move forward, if they can’t post another speech by the ex-president?

It would be bad enough if websites suppressed misinformation in some objective manner, as if that’s possible. There are clearly cases where misinformation can be harmful, as the “shouting fire in a crowded theater” example illustrates. But in general, people have a right to be wrong. Facts are often in dispute. Conclusions based on a set of agreed facts can nonetheless vary widely. Allowing freedom of expression will result in good ideas surviving and bad ideas dying in the sunlight of open debate.

But it’s worse. These websites are suppressing information that, far from being misinformation, is often more factual than the narratives being protected. Election integrity is one example, but there are plenty of other examples. Banning the books, and the accounts, of authors that question the wisdom of encouraging gender dysphoric children to begin life altering medical treatments? How can you trust arbiters of information vs misinformation if they’re willing to do that?

When establishment institutions censor the speeches of a former U.S. president, at the same time as they censor countless other counter-narratives of obvious integrity, they destroy the fabric of the nation by destroying faith in the integrity of American institutions. Is that their intention?

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YouTube Escalates Crackdown on Alternative Content Creators

YouTube has announced new policies aimed at “limiting the reach of borderline content” and to “protect people from problematic content that doesn’t violate our community guidelines.” Got that? They’re figuring out how to “protect” people from content that does not violate their guidelines.

The recent announcements come in the context of reporting on the 2020 election. One of YouTube’s principal tools is their choice of “recommended videos,” about which they boast “the top 10 authoritative news channels were recommended over 14X more than the top 10 non-authoritative channels on election-related content.”

As for these “authoritative channels, YouTube has chosen CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and Fox. Because those news sources do serious investigative reporting, leave nothing out, and are entirely objective.

YouTube has already been doing a very good job at limiting the reach of “problematic” content, but they’re determined to crush dissenting content completely. Quoting from YouTube Insider, “while problematic misinformation represents a fraction of 1% of what’s watched on YouTube in the U.S., we know we can bring that number down even more.”

And to “bring down that number even more,” as of December 9, YouTube “will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential election.”

But hold on. Widespread fraud or errors very likely did change the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Why not allow an open debate and presentation of the facts?

To get two very different interpretations of what YouTube has done, listen to Jeremy Hambly, on BitChute, and read Taylor Hatmaker, on TechCrunch. Hambly is understandably upset that YouTube has already deleted more than 8,000 channels that had spread “misleading” information about the election between September and mid-December 2020, yet is turning their canceling action up a notch. Hatmaker, on the other hand, and like so many millions in the United States, does not recognize fascism even now that it’s in the open and poised to seize absolute power. Hatmaker thinks YouTube is doing too little, too late.

Hambly, with over 1.0 million subscribers on YouTube, is hedging his bets. His videos are now disbursed across multiple platforms including BitChute, Rumble, and Odysee. And every time YouTube silences another voice, these alternative platforms gain viewers. But with YouTube still commanding 90 percent of the U.S. digital video market, what they decide people can and cannot see has a decisive impact on how millions of Americans form opinions and vote.

An ongoing public debate over the impact of fraud on the outcome of the 2020 election would be healthy. But to the extent that debate occurs, it will be done on alterative media. And whether or not fraud actually did change the outcome of the 2020 election, swing voters were already decisively manipulated by the actions of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google search, and every one of the “authoritative news channels.”

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