YouTube deleted what appears to be thousands of “dislikes” from videos on the official channel of President Joe Biden’s White House. The company said it’s a part of its regular efforts to remove engagement it considers inauthentic.
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 shortly after the incoming administration took over the channel and published its first videos.
The screenshots indicate a total of at least 16,000 dislikes were removed from at least three videos. Even after the adjustments, the five videos on the channel had about 14,000 likes combined versus nearly 60,000 dislikes as of 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 21.
In response to a screenshot of one of the videos, YouTube told The Epoch Times 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.
It isn’t clear how YouTube discerns between authentic and inauthentic engagement; the company didn’t immediately respond to a request for further details.
In the aftermath of the election, YouTube banned content that said the election was stolen through fraud, an allegation raised by former President Donald Trump and many others. The allegation hasn’t been proven in court, although it is supported by a significant body of evidence, including hundreds of sworn affidavits and analyses of statistical anomalies.
Google and YouTube are the world’s two most popular websites, according to Alexa ranking. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns over the massive power held by Google and several other tech giants.