YouTube Might Be Getting Rid Of The Dislike Count

Illustration for article titled YouTube Might Be Getting Rid Of The Dislike Count
Image: YouTube

YouTube just announced that, “in response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, the site is testing some new designs that “don’t show the public dislike count.

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While this isn’t a definite site-wide change being made for everyone, it shows YouTube is at least considering the move, and is currently testing “a few new designs”—one of which is pictured here—for a small number of users as part of an “experiment”.

YouTube’s dislike button, and the very public way its count could be used against a video, is a weird thing! Sometimes it can be a way for fans to let their displeasure at something be known, like a Call of Duty trailer that, at one point, was the second-most disliked video in YouTube history. Other times, though, it can be a way for assholes to harass creators.

When the site says it’s using “creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns” as the basis for this potential change, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether they’ve been spurred into action by ‘small-time YouTubers being attacked by hateful mobs’ or ‘enormous corporations unhappy with negative PR.’

While the dislike button itself would remain, only the uploader of the video would be able to see the number of times it had been selected by checking the metrics on their YouTube Studio page.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

DISCUSSION

I’m surprised the comments here so far all appear to dislike (heh) the idea of this change. I’m not saying I think it’s a bad opinion, though.

I personally get annoyed by it a lot. When I see a simple video that’s, say, a two minute video quickly explaining how to fix a specific problem, why dislike it if it clearly does what it set out to do? Or if there’s a widely liked song that is 99% positive, why dislike it? What does that DO? It feels pointless for me to know that a meme song has 1 million likes but 12k dislikes.

I do use it sometimes though, often when I’m opening a 50 minute presentation on programming. If the ratings are low I’ll want to move on. Both to save myself from a potential waste of 40 minutes, but also because if I want to get an initial understanding of a concept I want the popular opinions first.