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YouTube Experimenting with Hiding Comments on Videos in India

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not

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The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

In a bid to curb the spread of hateful and racist comments on its platform, Google-owned YouTube is experimenting with hiding comments on videos by default and the test has gone live in India.

The new feature, being experimented on Android for now, hides the comments that are displayed below the video unless a viewer taps the “Comments” button.

“We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page. This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments,” a YouTube spokesperson told IANS on Friday.

Even though the test feature is on by default currently, creators have the choice of turning the feature off which would traditionally display comments under their videos like the usual format.

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FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not.

For those who visit YouTube for videos and not to comment could easily keep themselves out of any hate, misinformation, toxicity or controversy that may have come up in the “Comments” section.

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In February, YouTube announced that it would no longer recommend videos that “come close” to violating its community guidelines, such as conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos like those claiming the earth is flat or making false claims about historic events.

In a similar attempt and to channelise user-focus on sharing and viewing better and sensible content on its platform, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is also planning on hiding the ‘Like’ counts for posts on its app. (IANS)

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)