Unlike Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, videos on YouTube can be “disliked.” But due to attacks on uploaders, the feature is now being significantly restricted.
After a test phase at the beginning of 2021, YouTube has now announced that it will remove the of the Dislike numbers in all videos. The company wants to prevent so-called “Dislike attacks” and protect video uploaders from verbal harassment.
The counter disappears, the button remains
Not everyone will be thrilled with the decision – after all, the number of dislikes serves to quickly see how well a video is received. Also, a poor ratio of likes to dislikes can often tell at a glance if it’s a misleading or clickbait video (click catch).
However, YouTube is not removing the thumbs-down button itself. Rather, only the number and ratio of likes to dislikes is now hidden from the public. However, uploaders can still see how many negative ratings their video has received in YouTube Studio.
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YouTube puts a stop to hate campaigns
YouTube justifies the removal of the counter by saying that it makes targeted Dislike campaigns no longer possible. These affect the well-being of uploaders, especially because such campaigns often come accompanied by hate comments. According to the company’s own information, YouTube uploaders with smaller and new channels are disproportionately affected by Dislike attacks. At least, that’s what the several-month test phase at the beginning of 2021 showed.
Other social media platforms are taking similar approaches. Instagram, for example, tested hiding the number of likes on posts years ago. The company wanted to counteract the urge to post something just to get likes. Social pressure, it argued, was harming the Instagram community and users’ mental health. Ultimately, however, the company backed down and left it up to the users to decide whether they want to display the Likes publicly.
What does YouTube look like without a dislike counter?
One of the variants YouTube has tested as an alternative is replacing the counter with the word “Dislike.” So the word appears in the YouTube app, for example, under the “thumbs down” icon. This is to keep the positions of the buttons generally the same so as not to create confusion.
The removal of the Dislike counter begins immediately and does not affect the app for iOS and Android, but also the web version of the video platform.
- YouTube blog