Just after Joe Biden’s inauguration as US President, YouTube appears to have deleted thousands of dislikes from videos published by the White House.
The company said it’s a part of its regular efforts to remove engagement it considers inauthentic.
After all, the “most popular president in US history” can’t be this disliked.
People on the platform noticed that dislikes have been disappearing by the thousands from several White House videos and started posting before-and-after screenshots on social media.
Three videos with removed dislikes had a total of 60,000 prior to them being reduced to 14,000.
In response to a screenshot of one of the videos, YouTube said that it’s monitoring engagement on the site to detect and remove activity it considers spam so that only engagement it considers organic remains. The mechanism worked as intended in the case of the Biden video, the company stated.
Google shifted millions of votes in the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election by pushing its political agenda onto its users, according to research psychologist Robert Epstein, who assembled a team of more than 700 voters to monitor what results they were receiving from channels such as search results, reminders, search suggestions, and newsfeeds ahead of the election.
Additionally, after the election, YouTube banned content that said the election was stolen through fraud, an allegation raised by former President Donald Trump and many others.
— Frank Gaffney (@frankgaffney) January 22, 2021
Despite the clearing, a 31-minute-video of the inauguration has 11 thousand likes, and 52 thousand dislikes.
Zach Vorhies, former senior software engineer at Google and YouTube also commented on the situation.
On the screenshot, the “dislikes” or thumbs-down icon shows the video with 1.9K “likes” and 11K “dislikes,” while the same video shortly after shows 2.4K Likes vs. 4.8K Dislikes, dropping the original number of Dislikes by more than half.
The videos were uploaded or streamed from the official White House government YouTube page. In the example posted by Vorhies, no one has contested his assertion, and Twitter has not labeled the tweet as misinformation. The post has received 2.7K retweets, 425 comments, and 4.5K Likes.
YouTube erasing dislikes for Joe Biden’s administration. pic.twitter.com/4zmd1MkxJx
— Zach Vorhies (@Perpetualmaniac) January 21, 2021
YouTube notes the policies and systems in place to ensure that engagement on YouTube is authentic, and that fraudulent metrics are removed. Sometimes the Likes or Dislikes are a result of spam, according to YouTube documents, at which time they are removed.
This de-spamming process is ongoing, per YouTube. It starts as soon as a video is uploaded and continues to ensure that all metrics are valid.
It turns out this happens more often than some think, and it can become an issue. A 2019 article on The Verge calls attention to “Dislike mobs,” which are the YouTube equivalent to review bombing that negatively impacts a product or service.
Regardless, it appears that America’s “most liked president” needs some assistant in actually turning the claim into reality.
However, it is very obvious that this is part of the wider-scale campaign to silence any and all Trump supporters and conservative voices, and present the situation in an entirely different light.
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