YouTube has announced that they are making a big change in regards to their website. On November 10, YouTube posted a blog where they explain that they are turning off the dislikes visibility. This means that while users can still dislike videos, nobody except the video creators can see how many dislikes the video has. YouTube claims they made this change for specific reasons. The main reason they cite is harassment and bullying. They believe that hiding the dislike counter will prevent content creators from receiving harassment such as dislike bombarding.
One group that YouTube wants to help receive less harassment is smaller creators. They claim that these creators proportionally receive more dislikes than more popular YouTubers. The blog fails to define what they consider a small creator. Removing YouTube dislikes shouldn’t come as a surprise to the public, however. It was announced in March of this year that YouTube was experimenting with hiding the dislike count. The platform claims that the experiment’s results show that hiding dislikes does help creators receive less dislike bombardment. The blog doesn’t mention how much it helped. Although one would assume it helped drop dislike harassment immensely, we can’t know for sure.
It seems that YouTube isn’t oblivious that this won’t go over well with some people because they end the blog with, “We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform.”
Some big content creators have been outspoken about the YouTube dislikes no longer appearing. Popular content creators such as Marques Brownlee, Linus Tech Tips, and Asmongold have spoken out against the move. Some of the same sentiments have risen: dislikes help viewers gauge how useful a video is. Another point made was that hiding dislikes benefit large corporations because they can hide criticism that would’ve been shown through the dislike count.
YouTube isn’t the only website that hides dislikes. A lot of the major websites don’t have a dislike button at all. Websites such as Instagram and Twitter don’t have a way to dislike a post. However, the argument could be made that it only takes someone a few seconds to read through a social media post.
When it comes to watching YouTube videos, or specifically helpful guides, it can take a while. It depends on what the viewer needs help with. So, the argument is that seeing the dislikes of a certain video can help people decide whether it’s worth spending their time watching this specific video.
The video posted in YouTube’s announcement blog had a counterargument. They state that their research team saw little to no change when it comes to that. They explain that whether a YouTube video has a huge number of dislikes or not, it doesn’t matter. The viewer will watch the video regardless.
As of this writing, YouTube dislikes are still visible. However, they will eventually go away as this new change is rolled out throughout the website. Although it’s not made certain how long the rollout will take. YouTube hiding dislikes isn’t the only big tech news, with Facebook changing its name and scientists accidentally creating a racist A.I.