YouTube Removes Dislike Count On All Videos From Today
YouTube says it’s removing the dislike counter from its videos, in the company’s latest bid to ‘protect’ its users from harassment.
The change, which is being introduced with immediate effect, will mean users can no longer see how many people have disliked a video, though the ‘thumbs down’ icon will remain.
YouTube’s decision was made in the wake of a growing trend of ‘downvote brigading’, which sees large numbers of users intentionally dislike videos posted by specific creators in order to negatively affect the reach and revenue of their content.
In a statement announcing the change, YouTube said the an experiment involving making the dislike counter private reduced the number of targeted downvote pile-ons seen on the site.
‘In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior,’ the company said. ‘We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behavior and our experiment confirmed that this does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels.’
Ironically, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the change could be YouTube itself, with Bloomberg reporting that the company holds the record for the most-disliked video, after users organised a downvote campaign in protest of the annual YouTube Rewind video in 2018.
However, not everyone is happy at the changes, with some of YouTube’s biggest creators coming forward to criticise the move.
‘Hey @YouTube removing info from the rating system is NOT helpful,’ said Marques Brownlees, whose channel MKBHD has 15 million followers. ‘Public like/dislike ratio = Useful tool to see how helpful a video will be at a glance. Hiding dislikes helps nothing… but increases the # of ppl dissatisfied by spending too much time watching an unhelpful video.’
‘As a small creator, this doesn’t do anything to help me. All hiding public dislike counts will do is make it harder for people to spot scams. Thank you YouTube, really thinking about the community I see,’ another user wrote.
Others pointed out that YouTube had previously offered creators the options to turn off their like/dislike buttons, but in a tweet responded to criticism, the company said that the option sometimes led to creators being ‘bullied and harassed for their decision.’
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