All social media needs “dislike” buttons
Dislike buttons should be available on social media, and dislikes on posts need to be visible to everyone. Here's why.
Once upon a time social media was a space for people to connect and share photos of each other. Now, social media hosts news, educational content, entertainment, businesses and everything in between.
Take YouTube for example. We usually use it for entertainment, but before exams, we use it to clear concepts. The like to dislike ratio is the most useful metric for quickly finding what you need, especially when it comes to educational content, because it shows the level of satisfaction over a piece of content, which views and likes alone don't.
Comments are only useful if you read through a bunch of them. Furthermore, on most sites, creators can remove comments on their page, even if it's just constructive criticism or a blatant truth. This makes it harder for people to use public opinion to find what they need.
One of the many reasons why showing only likes is detrimental is that social media gives voice to some people who frankly don't deserve an audience. When a post supports things that are clearly problematic like racism or xenophobia, it is crucial for social media users to be able to show disapproval. Because if someone only sees the likes on these posts, and not the dislikes, they will either lose faith in humanity, or agree with the posts based on how well it's phrased (search flat earther comments for proof).
Not having dislikes is more likely to trap people in echo chambers, too. Twitter is exceptionally good at this. Since people don't see how many people disagree with what they think, they wrongly believe their opinions have no dissenters, and that they are right. Perhaps this explains to some extent the large volumes of absurd TikTok content, and the more polished YouTube content (at least before they hid the public dislike counts).
Clickbait is a nuisance on internet media these days, and like to dislike ratios help combat it. If you see a title that says "Beyoncé hits her biggest fan at concert" and the video is Beyoncé bumping into a large stand-fan while singing, you would want to dislike it. And you should have the right to, the creator wasted your time.
Also, what if an impatient viewer saw the title and didn't verify the information or even watch the full video to check? #CancelBeyonce would be trending on Twitter, that's what.
Very few agreed with YouTube's decision to hide the dislike counts because "dislike counts spread hate". However, comments and content spreads hate much quicker than the number under a thumbs-down icon.
Social media does a lot of afford everyone their right to freedom of speech (with moderation to stop harm). They should also allow people to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with what they see.
On user-generated platforms, most content will be subpar. That's okay, but bad content must fall aside as quickly as possible, to make way for good content that adds value.
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