YouTube Starts Testing Hidden Dislike Counts

YouTube Policy Decisions Wtf...

YouTube started rolling out hidden dislikes to a small group of creators for testing:

In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count. If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below!).

Creators, you’ll still be able to see the exact number of likes and dislikes in YouTube Studio. For viewers, if you’re in the experiment, you can still like or dislike a video to share feedback with creators and help tune the recommendations you see on YouTube.

– YouTube (@YouTube) 30 Mar 2021

There are at least a couple things about this that simply don’t make sense:

  1. In the announcement itself, YouTube said hiding dislikes is for creators' “well-being” but also that creators will still be able to see the number of likes and dislikes…?
  2. The option to hide the likes and dislikes for a video already exists. Creators can optionally enable this right now with ease. Why introduce the sitewide concealment of dislikes only?

YouTube started considering something like “removing the dislike button” about a month or two after YouTube Rewind 2018 become the most disliked video on YouTube within a week of being uploaded. It still is the most disliked video on YouTube with over 19M dislikes and only 2.9M likes, and YouTube Rewind 2019 is currently the 6th most disliked video on YouTube. More recently, over the past few months, YouTube was caught removing thousands of dislikes from several videos on the official White House channel which were consistently getting ratioed pretty hard.

Regardless, users and creators alike were incredibly disappointed overjoyed with this announcement and left tons of negative positive feedback in the replies to YouTube’s announcement tweet:

this sucks. youtube is feeling less of a social network website and feeling more like cable TV. the dislike video shows people if for example a tutorial is trust worthy, and is already able to be disabled. please do not do this.

– pikalols (@pikalols) 30 Mar 2021

Not showing dislikes is supposed to make targeted dislikes disappear? Dislikes is one of the best forms of feedback, useful for creator, viewer, and algorithms alike. Not showing a dislike count publicly is in my eyes one of the worst decisions possible.

– Parwes ΔΔΔ (@parwesplayz1) 30 Mar 2021

I don’t believe a majority of creators wanted this. If anything, you all want to hide dislikes so it doesn’t dissuade someone from watching a video. Let viewers have that power to shoot down videos that deserve it

– Saberspark (@Saberspark) 30 Mar 2021

You are actually promoting bad content by hiding dislikes. That’s what partially keeps people accountable and let’s other viewers know if something is worth watching.

This ain’t it, chief

– The Act Man (@TheActMan_YT) 30 Mar 2021

Nobody actually wants this, except those creators whose content is so bad that they need to hide the amount of dislikes they get on their videos.

You’re actively promoting bad content by doing this.

– Cynical Reviews (@Cynical_CJ) 30 Mar 2021

Bullcrap to this being done to protect your userbase, this is 100% to please your advertisers and any other parties that help line your pockets.

Not to mentiom,good luck dealing with the copious amounts of scams and misleading information that the dislike function helped your userbase to more easily identify. Do you expect your moderation to pick up the slack for 60 hours of content uploaded every minute?

– NintyToad87 (@Zari_Wari) 30 Mar 2021

the problem with websites that don’t have dislike buttons is it’s harder for people to get an idea of what’s good and what’s bad. like if twitter had a dislike button, you guys could see how much everybody hates this

– Drew Gooden (@drewisgooden) 30 Mar 2021

If you are gonna do that shit to acomodate the ones who cry about it, make it optional, cuz I rather show it than hide it and pretened the likes only matter

– Pelo (@SrPelo) 30 Mar 2021

What about content that is objectively bad and harmful to people? Like scams etc?

– Jacksepticeye (@Jack_Septic_Eye) 30 Mar 2021

We don’t need this feature. Dislikes help in identifying problems in content/creator. Shit I use my own dislike gauge to identify how a video is treated.

– Mutahar (@OrdinaryGamers) 30 Mar 2021

Doesn’t YouTube already have a feature that allows people to disable likes/dislikes if they want it???

Yeah this is so much better now we’re all forced to do it

– LS Mark (@LSMark_) 30 Mar 2021

why is it that whenever a creator you prop up gets into hot water (james charles with people unsubbing and dobrik now) you fundamentally change the site for everyone??? who is this for?

– Eddy Burback (@eddyburback) 30 Mar 2021

Sources / Relevant Material

  3. Know Your Meme News "YouTube Is Testing Hiding Dislike Counts For Some Viewers" by Philipp Kachalin (31 Mar 2021)