[Rant] youtube's removal of dislikes will seriously hurt the Tutorial Community (2ND UPDATE)

48Tentacles

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(UPDATE 14/12/2021: From 14th December, goolag developers have closed access to the API to get info about dislikes. That means that youtube completely removed access to dislikes and the previously suggested extension became useless, as it will use archived and approximate data about dislikes.)

(UPDATE 02/12/2021: I included links on how to bring back the dislike ratio with a few mouse clicks)

I'm sure it's beating the dead horse right now if you guys are aware of this, but I haven't seen results using the Search function of this website so at least I have an excuse to post this.

1637875512213.png

Let's suppose that you need to learn how to use Excel or Word or LibreOffice Writer. You go to youtube, make a search on "Excel beginner tutorial" and you get results, but you want something good, you're not going to settle for less, so you open various videos in different tabs and finally decide to watch a video on your own criteria based on popularity and like/dislike ratio. Done.

Dislikes are gone. Now let's suppose that you're in dire need for a technical problem, maybe you can't update one of your programs or a process fails to start. Maybe you can't start Photoshop, maybe your drawing tablet fails to start. Or the classic "windows can't start". You start to search but you realize that this is getting more complicated and specific than that as you watch one or two videos, you do your instructions but the problem persists. You need another video and try everything else but nothing seems to work. Finally you give up and you need that geeky tech friend of yours in the computer store, assuming you have the necessary amount of money.

All that because you couldn't tell which tutorial was better and which tutorial was bad because there was no dislike counter. Dreamscape'd tutorials with .txt documents don't count (these are so slow but you can tap the -> key various times to speed it up).

How am I supposed to decide what's worth watching based on the community feedback? I've seen thumbnails of tutorials that lasted one hour on how to install custom models in games like VRChat. If you were a Youtuber and want to make an online blog but you want to hide and block the ability to like and dislike, you can do that, no one's stopping you. But the suppress of the dislike count is being forced onto us without our consent for every video we watch online. You will never quickly identify when a video is trustworthy or is bad content anymore. You will never know if you're watching something accurate or flawed or outdated. It's Sturgeon's Law all over again. How is this an improvement?

The only thing this is going to cause are three outcomes as far as I can predict: More users emigrating to other video platforms, users will refuse to branch out into channels new to them, and youtube comments saying "disliked video" with hundreds and thousands of likes.
1637877996988.png

Users who are creating tutorials are in thin ice, because while they generally work well there is no guarantee that every tutorial creator will never make a mistake. Sooner or later a tutorial of relevance will come, and one or two steps are either missed or changed, everyone has problems and then they go "Oh my gosh, how could this happen?" because there are and were tutorials with sponsors with the potential of ruining your computer in one week or creatnig a potential of a fire hazard, mind you.

And youtube still forces you to watch ads. But luckily, you have a choice available. Take a hint.

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OktoberLove

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I'm sure it's beating the dead horse right now if you guys are aware of this, but I haven't seen results using the Search function of this website so at least I have an excuse to post this.

View attachment 207844

Let's suppose that you need to learn how to use Excel or Word or LibreOffice Writer. You go to youtube, make a search on "Excel beginner tutorial" and you get results, but you want something good, you're not going to settle for less, so you open various videos in different tabs and finally decide to watch a video on your own criteria based on popularity and like/dislike ratio. Done.

Dislikes are gone. Now let's suppose that you're in dire need for a technical problem, maybe you can't update one of your programs or a process fails to start. Maybe you can't start Photoshop, maybe your drawing tablet fails to start. Or the classic "windows can't start". You start to search but you realize that this is getting more complicated and specific than that as you watch one or two videos, you do your instructions but the problem persists. You need another video and try everything else but nothing seems to work. Finally you give up and you need that geeky tech friend of yours in the computer store, assuming you have the necessary amount of money.

All that because you couldn't tell which tutorial was better and which tutorial was bad because there was no dislike counter. Dreamscape'd tutorials with .txt documents don't count (these are so slow but you can tap the -> key various times to speed it up).

How am I supposed to decide what's worth watching based on the community feedback? I've seen thumbnails of tutorials that lasted one hour on how to install custom models in games like VRChat. If you were a Youtuber and want to make an online blog but you want to hide and block the ability to like and dislike, you can do that, no one's stopping you. But the suppress of the dislike count is being forced onto us without our consent for every video we watch online. You will never quickly identify when a video is trustworthy or is bad content anymore. You will never know if you're watching something accurate or flawed or outdated. It's Sturgeon's Law all over again. How is this an improvement?

The only thing this is going to cause are three outcomes as far as I can predict: More users emigrating to other video platforms, users will refuse to branch out into channels new to them, and youtube comments saying "disliked video" with hundreds and thousands of likes.
View attachment 207845

Users who are creating tutorials are in thin ice, because while they generally work well there is no guarantee that every tutorial creator will never make a mistake. Sooner or later a tutorial of relevance will come, and one or two steps are either missed or changed, everyone has problems and then they go "Oh my gosh, how could this happen?" because there are and were tutorials with sponsors with the potential of ruining your computer in one week or creatnig a potential of a fire hazard, mind you.

And youtube still forces you to watch ads. But luckily, you have a choice available. Take a hint.

View attachment 207849
As much as I "understand" the intentions behind YouTube's decision and I think they meant well I feel like this is one of those times they need to just admit this was the wrong decision. At the end of the day it feels like a lazy solution to a much bigger problem. Hopefully they do realize their mistake before the official implementation. If not they will realize it the hard way that they're not a normal social media site. They can't use those same standards like they tried to in the presentation. Sure Instagram doesn't have a dislike button, but people don't go to Instagram for educational purposes. It's almost like YouTube is oblivious to how its users actually use it lol. I mean I've heard they're the second biggest search engine next to Google. Yet they still act like they're a small little social media platform.
 

The Stranger

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Dislikes weren't always a measure of quality, though. People often mass disliked videos for any number of stupid reasons. Many tutorials I've used for various things barely had any likes or dislikes. It's not the first time they've neutered dislikes, though. What does disliking a comment do on YouTube exactly? Nothing as far as I know.

Until people actually use another platform to share videos on, then Google-YouTube won't change. Why should it?

Besides, it's not as if they've ever really done a thing about peddlers of harmful things on their platform. Quite a few of those five minute cooking vids on there are harmful - I remember one telling people to submerge strawberries, which they planned on eating, in bleach to turn them white.
It took forever for them to kill off a few of those stupid alt health channels that told people to drink turpentine, bleach, and other crap.
 
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Helen1701

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I don't think removing the dislike button was a good idea. Someone who isn't allowed to express themselves by using the button will only use the comments section to say what they want to say anyway. I understand why they did it, they probably didn't want inexperienced youtubers getting upset and quitting because someone disliked their video... but considering what happens when you remove the button I think the outcome could be worse because some people aren't very tactful when explaining to someone in a comment why their video sucks.
 

gstv87

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there's two ways to go about this:
-the purely technical approach.
-the business approach.

the pure technical approach:
the web site youtube suffers from a problem involving bots, and an imbalance between views, comments and likes, which affects their AI-based advertisement system, which deals with profit, *through* the management of views, comments and likes.
so, to solve that, they remove the dislike button, and switch to gauging a video's value by comparing actual views to actual likes.
a video with a million views and a thousand likes to a hundred dislikes is one thing, and a video with a million views and a thousand likes to zero dislikes is another.
of those million views, you can be certain that a thousand likes are actual users liking that video, as opposed to a thousand and one hundred being split between actual users and bots.
if a hacker utilizing a bot net was to use those bots to give likes to a video they want to benefit, youtube itself would see that as an attempt at fraud and outright close the channel.
there's no closing a channel for receiving *dislikes*, there's only closing a channel at the sight of attempted fraud.
but there is an indiscriminate dishing out of *dislikes* by automated services, which can't be controlled by youtube and can be detrimental to the development of legit channels.
so.... solution? remove the case where an automated service would attempt to harm a channel by dishing out indiscriminate dislikes, while also controlling the case where an automated service would try to unfairly benefit a channel by giving likes, making it unbalanced for everyone else.
it's a pure mathematical approach.

-the business approach:
youtube the production team can't care less about their website, they're only trying to cover their asses for the upcoming release of their youtube rewind, which has been widely disliked in their last two instances.
they have it ready, they know it's gonna flop, they don't want to deal with the backlash, so, they remove the ability to rate it.

it's either one or the other.
me, I don't care about likes or dislikes, not even views... I use an outdated browser, and I still see the dislike button. I use adblock, I can't care less about any one channel ceasing to exist overnight.
I've been telling youtubers I like, that they stop asking for subscriptions and instead tell their followers to support them in websites other than youtube... websites they can control and administer on their own.
youtube is flawed, and bordering monopolistic, so it must be fought.
dislikes was one way of fighting them.... they took it out... no biggy, there's still plenty of website to target, because they still fail to see the point: as long as they exist in this state of flaw, there will be reason to hate them.
it's totally that Gru meme: you want people to stop calling you out? stop existing, period.
 

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I'll be real and say that I can't think of any time in history that I've ever used the 'like/dislike' ratio to try to predetermine the validity of a tutorial, nor do I generally even look at how many likes or dislikes a video has. It's just not something that I've ever cared about, so it doesn't really matter to me one way or another. But hiding dislikes does strike me as something that has more potential negatives than positives, so if I had to pick, I'd say that I'm against it.
 

Milennin

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It's very dumb. If they wanted to protect the creators as they claim they do, they could've just made it so the dislikes and ratio are hidden on the creator's own videos (by their choice). Well, there's already a browser extension to bring back the dislike counter and ratio bar that I've installed, because I don't trust videos when I can't see basic statistics that should be there to help me save my time.
 

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For them to have competition other sites need to allow an unlimited number of uploads, and currently none do...
 

ATT_Turan

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I think it's a pointless decision, but on the other hand...
you open various videos...and finally decide to watch a video...based on popularity and like/dislike ratio.
I can't relate to this thinking process. Disliking a video, just like downvoting on Reddit, very clearly has only a possible, tenuous connection to the quality of the content.

Any number of dislikes are just as likely to come from someone not liking the topic of the video, which they chose to click on anyway, to...whatever.

Especially if you're looking at something of a technical/educational nature, there's absolutely zero way to gauge whether it's accurate information from how liked or disliked it is. Only actually researching the subject can achieve that.
 

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I think it's a pointless decision, but on the other hand...

I can't relate to this thinking process. Disliking a video, just like downvoting on Reddit, very clearly has only a possible, tenuous connection to the quality of the content.

Any number of dislikes are just as likely to come from someone not liking the topic of the video, which they chose to click on anyway, to...whatever.

Especially if you're looking at something of a technical/educational nature, there's absolutely zero way to gauge whether it's accurate information from how liked or disliked it is. Only actually researching the subject can achieve that.

I wouldn't say that the connection is always tenuous. I once saw a 'tutorial' (in the loosest sense of the word) for Breath of the wild, where the youtuber was recommending that people run and jump at and try to grab the little fairies around the fairy fountain near Kakariko village. Very bad advice considering that that the best way to get them is to sneak up on them slowly, if you don't they fly away. In instances like this, the dislike is perfectly justified.

That said, SOMETIMES people just dislike for the sake of disliking. Like, I saw a video in which this guy was giving a tutorial on how to look after a tarantula. Someone in the comments simpy said, 'disliked, I hate spiders'. I wondered why he was watching if he hated spiders that much, hating on a video just because you don't like the subject is ridiculous, especially when there are literally millions of videos and it is easy to just watch something else. The dislike in this instance had no bearing on whether the video was accurate or of educational value.

So, there are valid and invalid reasons for using a dislike button, and not everyone uses it correctly. So, even if a video has a lot of dislikes, just watch it if it's a subject you're interested in, and make your own judgement.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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That said, SOMETIMES people just dislike for the sake of disliking. Like, I saw a video in which this guy was giving a tutorial on how to look after a tarantula. Someone in the comments simpy said, 'disliked, I hate spiders'. I wondered why he was watching if he hated spiders that much, hating on a video just because you don't like the subject is ridiculous, especially when there are literally millions of videos and it is easy to just watch something else. The dislike in this instance had no bearing on whether the video was accurate or of educational value.
Likely in such an instance the dislike was more for the algorithm recommending said video to the user than for the content of the video itself. Youtube can talk about brigading and stuff but I notice that they never bring up positive brigading as a problem even though it happens just as often as negative (and no positive brigading doesn't prove the creator is being fraudulent necessarily) and at the end of the day it is just a bloody number.

Youtube already removes suspected bot accounts as well so I fail to see how that should factor into this decision, if it was really about protecting the community they would have left it an option that one can opt into or out of at will, so that creators could hide their dislikes if they wish to be oblivious to them or allow them if they want as well because like it or not interaction is interaction, and audience participation is a very important part of most content creators ability to succeed, especially the smaller creators youtube is pretending to aid in this way which renders the entire situation baffling from any perspective that assumes team youtube is acting in good faith and not lying through their teeth about their motivations here because smaller channels that need an audience to engage with and actually help promote them will be hurt the most while tv celebrities and tv media channels and the like who have been granted preferential treatment by the algorithms already in the past few years to "combat misinformation" on a primarily entertainment platform who often get ratioed to hell (oftentimes as I pointed out about the tarantula precisely because they are now granted preferential treatment and people who aren't on youtube to watch the same crap they could watch on cable tv downvote them when they keep cropping up in their autofeed to steer them away from the smaller creators youtube has decided should be verboten now in an increasingly vain effort to try and fix the algorithms into recommending **** that they actually want to watch again like they used to).

In short, in as much as the problems of brigading and such actually exist, I believe it to be youtube's own recent policies and algorithmic manipulation that is actually largely to blame for said phenomenon in the first place and that the unintended consequences of this new overreaction to a problem that they themselves caused will merely create further problems down the line. I don't believe youtube is acting in good faith either however, as all their recent policies trend towards actively damaging the smaller content creators that they were founded off of in favor of the very celebrity culture tv bullcrap that youtube originally competed against to become so big in the first place.

Personally I say look for alternatives. People complain that "there will never be a competitor unless their infrastructure is as great as youtubes" but the problem is alternatives cannot become viable until enough people make the switch, already other streaming sites are far more searchable and while the actual content is sparser it is easier generally to find the exact content you are looking for than current youtube not because they've actually innovated beyond youtube but because youtube has devolved from what it once was in their current obsession with curating everything that passes through them and manipulating public perception in certain directions.

Alternatives are out there with a growing base of users trying to get away from that nonsense, all they need are more content creators that aren't verboten political opinions, gun and sportsman channels (which youtube doesn't like) etcetera to start migrating over as well. The audience is wider than most people perceive already at this point, and I know there are plenty of people like myself at this point who only use youtube for such tutorials and such that aren't outright censored (but are still being negatively impacted as this entire conversation demonstrates) by youtube's algorithm and would love nothing more than to see that content migrate over to alternatives that don't try to actively steer their users away from it for not being mainstream enough.
 
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The Stranger

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People won't leave YouTube because so many dream of becoming a YouTube star. lol. So, these people will continue to create their 10+ minute videos and fill them with as many ads (sponsored or otherwise) as they can. They'll then complain about how they deserve to be paid for commentating on games they play or some such because it's time consuming.

There's more wrong with YouTube than them hiding how many dislikes a video has. The search function barely works these days. You search for something and are given two or three related results, then a whole bunch of unrelated ones. Why?

I have a very low opinion of modern YouTube, and really only use it for those extremely short animal videos. Most of my complaints are just me pining for the YouTube of yore when the site first came to be. lol. The way things currently are is clearly what people want because no one's really doing a thing about it, and many content creators seem to celebrate all of these weird changes.
 

alice_gristle

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Y'all, I'm so far from the loop it not even funny anymore, so what wud be a good alternative for youtube? :kaoswt: 'Cuz sounds like I gotta at least try to get out.

What I want: slow letsplays of DS1.

What I need: a pretty bloke playin' Baroque instruments in a castle.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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I don't think it is so much that it is what most people want as it is that people have become complacent, and have also become somewhat personally invested in the platform and going out of your way to find alternatives (and alternatives that aren't malware-ridden digital versions of the mythologized wild west) is an inconvenience, and one that these tech firms are banking on with these wildly unpopular policy changes they keep making arbitrarily. "All my friends are on there, playlists going back from when I was an edgy teenager that I like to drudge up for nostalgia sometimes, I have a bloody terabyte of photos and memories saved on facebook I can't just leave and go somewhere else"

Like it or not social media addiction is a real thing and these sites have wired themselves in such a way as to exploit that, to manipulate the body's internal regulatory system into awarding pointless dopamine hits for their users that make it increasingly difficult for them to put down the phone, or leave the site, even when it deteriorates to the point that it is a shell of its former self and barely even functionally useful to them in their day to day anymore.

As for wanting to be a youtube star, that's probably an even better reason to go elsewhere. I have a youtube channel, a rumble channel, a *****ute channel a minds channel and a local channel. Every channel that isn't youtube currently has more subscribers than my youtube channel probably ever will. I could tell you my username and you'd still probably have a difficult time finding me on youtube, I don't even come up on the first page of search results if you type the name of my channel directly into the search bar ffs however all I have to do for people to find me on any of those named alternatives is tell them that I do video series discussing and critiquing modern philosophy and comparing it to the more antiquated.

I guarantee you that if you type in postmodernism, stoicism, integration, or just philosophy into the search bar on minds or rumble my account will be one of the first results because I am one of the only content creators discussing those topics on those sites which are overly populated with political channels and others that mainstream tech sites are openly hostile towards and absolutely starved for other content. I don't have to tell you the channel's name to know you'd find it, while at the same time I can't be sure people who know exactly who I am will even be able to find my channel on youtube at all at this point, it's absurd in my mind not to diversify in that scenario as a smaller creator who has no chance of really gaining any headway on youtube itself because they've picked their winners already who they promote and I am not one of them.
 
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Helen1701

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I don't think it is so much that it is what most people want as it is that people have become complacent, and have also become somewhat personally invested in the platform and going out of your way to find alternatives (and alternatives that aren't malware-ridden digital versions of the mythologized wild west) is an inconvenience, and one that these tech firms are banking on with these wildly unpopular policy changes they keep making arbitrarily. "All my friends are on there, playlists going back from when I was an edgy teenager that I like to drudge up for nostalgia sometimes, I have a bloody terabyte of photos and memories saved on facebook I can't just leave and go somewhere else"

Like it or not social media addiction is a real thing and these sites have wired themselves in such a way as to exploit that, to manipulate the body's internal regulatory system into awarding pointless dopamine hits for their users that make it increasingly difficult for them to put down the phone, or leave the site, even when it deteriorates to the point that it is a shell of its former self and barely even functionally useful to them in their day to day anymore.

Put that way, it's scary. I agree that there are people for whom things like youtube and facebook can become addictive, but I've never really given it much thought TBH. I just assumed that these were people who had little else to occupy their time, and so they'll post hundreds of random pictures of their pets, their food...etc in the search for likes. Quite sad really.

Where FB is concerned, I only use it because my friends and family do, and I don't spend more than an hour every couple of weeks on there, because 99% of the content is BORING. Honestly, if I want to speak to my family, I do it the old fashioned way and pick up the phone. I do however watch youtube most days, some of the content is better than TV is these days. Beyond watching/listening to the news in the morning, I don't bother watching TV because there is so little on that is actually worth watching, even with all those freeview channels.

In my view, the internet is meant to be a place of both learning and entertainment, you can do that with youtube, for all it's problems. Like, the other day I typed in pixel art, got some good content and... Ramseys kitchen nightmares (which oddly enough has nothing whatsoever to do with pixel art) That said, if anyone knows of a superior alternative I'd definitely check it out.
 

The Stranger

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Y'all, I'm so far from the loop it not even funny anymore, so what wud be a good alternative for youtube? :kaoswt: 'Cuz sounds like I gotta at least try to get out.

What I want: slow letsplays of DS1.

What I need: a pretty bloke playin' Baroque instruments in a castle.
I don't think there really is a true alternative to YouTube at the moment. There are other video hosting sites, sure, but none are what I'd call an alternative. I sometimes use DailyMotion, but it's not a great site. I've tried using Vimeo, but I didn't really like it.

Like, the other day I typed in pixel art, got some good content and... Ramseys kitchen nightmares (which oddly enough has nothing whatsoever to do with pixel art) That said, if anyone knows of a superior alternative I'd definitely check it out.
This is the sort of weird search results I'm talking about. xD Just give me what I've asked for, because I'm never going to click on these irrelevant results you've given me, YouTube. What's that, you wanted to watch a let's play of a specific video game? Well, how about I do you a solid and give you a video of a politician you've never heard of, in a country you don't live in, talking about a topic that doesn't concern you in the slightest.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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Put that way, it's scary. I agree that there are people for whom things like youtube and facebook can become addictive, but I've never really given it much thought TBH. I just assumed that these were people who had little else to occupy their time, and so they'll post hundreds of random pictures of their pets, their food...etc in the search for likes. Quite sad really.
That is in essence what it is. But see, that cycle of fishing for likes can in fact be addicting, it serves as a false sense of validation in some people which stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain (the same chemical that is stimulated in exercise resulting in what is called a 'runner's high' and also the chemical that drugs like THC largely stimulate to produce their high, though admittedly any stimulation through social media will be to a far lesser extent than either) which can result in a skewed perception of the importance of said activity in ones life as they eventually begin to associate those temporarily mood elevating dopamine hits with social media itself and become psychologically dependent upon it to an extent. Like with drugs and exercise and anything else that stimulates the brain what you get out of it is ultimately tangential to what you actually put in, all these things can be used responsibly and be beneficial and each can be detrimental to a person as well if overindulged.

But see, it's odd isn't it that the tech firms, under guise of 'protecting their users' are arbitrarily taking away the features that might interrupt the procurement of that dopamine hit when using their platform, hiding them so only the positive affirmation remains. Almost as if they are actively trying to manipulate the reality of how their sites can influence people's brain chemistry in order to manipulate them into engaging more, regardless of whether or not that is ultimately beneficial to them or harmful. It is almost like they are aware of what they are doing, and that beyond social or political motivations they are just trying to keep people as glued to the screen and as focused and obsessed on consuming content as possible while simultaneously as disconnected and uninvested from what they are actually watching as well, to the point where they are watching just for the sake of watching, commenting just to chase those likes, and no longer thinking critically about what they are actually doing because it has become an issue of chasing the fleeting high of a chemical imbalance at that point whether they realize it or not.
 

ATT_Turan

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I wouldn't say that the connection is always tenuous. I once saw a 'tutorial'... In instances like this, the dislike is perfectly justified.
I mean, thus the word "possible" in my sentence that you quoted? :stickytongue: I also did not say that "the connection is always tenuous." Just that there are many factors beyond whether the content is factual or well-taught, and there's no way to tell simply from the number of dislikes.
 

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