YouTube is Getting Rid of Public Dislikes

In March, YouTube made a controversial announcement, confirming that it would be making changes to how the Dislike button would work in the near future. Users would still be able to click the Dislike button, but the total number of dislikes would no longer be displayed. YouTube said the change was planned to discourage harassment and Dislike attacks, but YouTube users worried it'd protect scams, manipulative marketing, and other negative content. Regardless, YouTube has now moved forward with the decision.

The Dislike button changes on YouTube have officially gone through, with the change rolling out across the platform starting today. Viewers will no longer be able to see a video's total number of Dislikes though the number will be accessible to each video's creator. This change includes both videos and YouTube's livestream content. Yet again, YouTube has cited protecting creators from "harassment" and disincentivizing "dislike attacks" as the reason for the change.

YouTube's moving forward off the back of what it describes as an initial "experiment" with the feature, limited testing to see how disabling the Dislike count will impact the platform. YouTube says this experiment showed that viewers were "less likely to target a video's dislike button to drive up the count." Further, it says it learned that smaller YouTube channels were more frequently targeted by this behavior. It's due to these experiences that YouTube decided to move forward.

As for why the Dislike button is being kept, YouTube says that it still encourages viewers to use the button in order to "tune their recommendations." For example, disliking certain music videos can help YouTube play music that ties into a listener's interests more accurately. Additionally, users will still be able to convey their feedback to YouTube channels, if only privately.

YouTube does, briefly, acknowledge some of the criticism aimed at this change to the platform. It says it knows that some YouTube viewers used the Dislike count to "decide whether or not to watch a video." However, YouTube says that the decision to turn this feature off is "the right thing to do for the platform." YouTube does not acknowledge any of the more serious criticism aimed at the change, revolving around disliking harmful content, manipulative marketing, or how Dislikes can be used as a form of protest.

One apt point that YouTube makes as part of a video on the subject is that, regardless of a YouTube video's Dislikes, viewers still watched. If Dislikes aren't financially impacting videos in that way, then what ultimately matters are the non-financial impacts -- things like negativity, harassment, and so on. And even YouTube's critics can agree that less of that is a net positive.

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"YouTube is Getting Rid of Public Dislikes" :: Login/Create an Account :: 3 comments

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Stupid idea for them to do this

We like to see the stats for likes and dislikes


This article I just added to my desktop folder called "Tech Tyrants censoring more free speech".

Now you have no idea if the general population doesn't agree with a particular topic or video. Obviously there are going to be likes but you can't weigh them against the dislikes anymore. America is in trouble and this is just another thing added to the pile of shit.


They should get rid of public likes then too

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