Why YouTube has decided to remove the number of dislikes on a video and make them private, and what the YouTube co-founder, Jawed Karim thinks of this decision.
Most social media platforms have Like Buttons for audiences to express how they feel about certain posts, and to show their support to the poster. Likes can be a reflection of the audience engagement a post has received, and how many people have liked it.
YouTube on the other hand has both a Like and Dislike Button, where YouTube viewers can like as well as dislike a video’s content. However, the platform has recently decided that it was going to make the number of dislikes private while keeping the button.
YouTube Dislike Button
The platform has recently made the decision to not remove the Dislike Button, as some people had speculated, but rather to make the dislikes private. Viewers will no longer be able to see the number of dislikes that a YouTuber has received on their video.
YouTube explained that the decision was influenced by the fact that the company was trying to find ways of protecting its creators from a lot of negative backlash and bullying that can be damaging to creators on the other side of the screen. Moreover, the company is trying to make YouTube a better platform for everyone.
Will YouTube remove the Dislike Button?
The YouTube dislike button has not been removed, and this has been confirmed by YouTube itself.
Instead of removing the Dislike Button, YouTube decided it would be better for the number of dislikes to be made private and hidden from the rest of the YouTube community. Which means that they will only be available to the YouTube creator who posted the video.
YouTube has defined this decision as the company striving to promote a space where creators of all sizes and backgrounds can share their voices, and to ensure that YouTube promotes respectful interactions between viewers and creators.
Furthermore, the change to make dislike counts private is in an effort to help protect creators from forms of harassment and as a way of reducing attacks based on dislikes, where some viewers work to increase the number of dislikes on a creators video, which can negatively impact a creators work.
What do these changes mean for creators and viewers respectively?
As it currently stands, with these new changes, creators will still be able to find the number of dislikes they have privately in YouTube Studio, as well as all other existing metrics if they want to get an idea of how their content is performing.
Viewers on the other hand will still be able to make use of the Dislike Button on videos, to still manipulate their recommendations and share feedback privately with creators. YouTube believes that this will promote a more inclusive and respectful environment where creators will feel freer.
Why did YouTube remove its dislike count?
The platform believes that the decision to no longer make the dislike count visible to viewers has better worked to provide protection for creators, and this is protection from things such as harassment, and dislike attacks.
YouTube also confirmed that it had identified that users were using dislikes to attack a creator’s name and working to drive more dislikes to make their videos seem like content that was not worth watching.
The platform observed that after experimenting with the removal of dislike counts, the number of dislike attacks actually reduced with far less targets.
What does co-founder Jawed Karim have to say about the decision?
The co-founder of the YouTube platform is actually not on board with the decision taken by the company to remove dislikes. He has been quoted saying that this move by YouTube is a “universally disliked change.”
He even believes that this move could possibly signal the beginning of the platform’s decline, stating that although there was a reason for YouTube taking this decision, it was still not a good enough one. He has further pointed out that the ability to quickly identify bad content was essential for users.
It is without a doubt that the ability for consumers of online content to be able to identify whether or not they like certain content is what makes the user experience more worthwhile, hence platforms offer users a choice to express their engagement with content though likes and dislikes.
YouTube has however made the decision to no longer make the number of YouTube dislikes a creator’s video has received public. The dislike count has officially been made private and will only be seen by the creator and not the viewer. That being said, viewers will still be able to dislike certain content.