Getting feedback on YouTube videos you upload is a great thing. Seeing that your how-to video helped someone fix a broken device, or knowing someone smiled at that video of your cat playing is wonderful. It’s great to know someone watched and took the time to let you know what they thought. Even just a simple “like” can make the time it takes to make a video (read part 2) worth it. Sometimes, however, the opportunities for feedback can be more of a curse than anything else…
This is a common thing with the internet, give people a chance to be jerks and some will take beyond full advantage of it. Yes, I’m talking about trolls. Not just trolls though, but even just general hate of all types, and YouTube is one of the absolute worst places for such.
Feedback on YouTube comes in two forms: One, as mentioned above, is the comments section of each video. There you can, as should be obvious, type up any comment you want. The latter is a rating system of thumbs up or thumbs down.
Now, I’ve stated before that I don’t like the idea of giving anyone a “quick” way to throw out negativity, and YouTube is one of the only social media outlets to seem to allow such – Facebook, Twitter, and even Google’s own Google+ service only have a positive reaction to posts – if you really want to say something bad about it, you have to actually type out the comment.
Instead, though, YouTube allows that like / dislike feature that often gets abused by people, in groups sometimes, to discourage others. Sometimes it is used legitimately, and I won’t lie, I’ve down voted things before (conspiracy videos, extreme political opinions I disagree with, etc) but I don’t go out of my way to down vote for the sake of down voting (read my previous article The logic of Like and Dislike in Social Media ). That’s a minor element though, but one that can be incredibly discouraging to a content creator, especially if the person is effectively ganged up on by others.
Comments are another beast, however. It seems like no matter what benign video you create, it is virtually guaranteed to attract some kind of hate. If you have an opinion and express it, you are going to have someone who doesn’t want to discuss such but insist you are wrong by default. If you show your face, you are liable to have people ignore the content of the video and simply focus on your physical appearance. if you are doing any activity, someone will tell you just how you are doing it wrong.
Everyone gets this. It’s a given fact that if a video stays up long enough, it seems someone somewhere will want to try to attack someone for it. While yes, you can ignore such, and it’s trivial enough to block people, why should you have to do such? Why in any circumstance should we have to deal with unmitigated hate for no valid reason?
While YouTube does allow you to disable comments on videos, it has a bad side effect of making you look weak, if you are proposing an opinion that can be challenged (not being able to comment makes it seem like you don’t want to hear a dissenting opinion) and you also lose out on the ability to have others carry on discourse with you on the video.
You can disable the like / dislike feature partially – if you turn it off on a video, it still works, but just doesn’t show for the public. You can still see all the likes, and dislikes, as before in the video manager. What’s the point, then, of even being able to hide it if you can’t actually turn it off? Granted, people not seeing such ratings is less likely to make them rate a video themselves, but anyone who is going to do such down voting invariably knows such, and will click it anyway.
My entire point is, there is a way to be civil online, and it’s well known that people will, just for fun, not behave in such a way. YouTube Content Creation should not entail the near constant risk that the next notification you get will be someone giving you crap for doing what you love.
I’ve even avoided uploading some videos, only due to the probability of the video getting trolled to the point of annoyance, which is the entire goal of those who do such, to cause as much anguish as possible in whomever they target.
I find it less likely to have such happen when Blogging, thanks to stricter control on such, and the fact that unlike YouTube, not everyone is on your personal site – people really have to put forth at least some effort to come here, after all.