You Tube Is Now Hiding Dislike Counts To Help Its Angry Users

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Screenshot: YouTube – The Dislike button isn’t going away completely, but dislike numbers will henceforth be private and only viewable to the video’s author. YouTube’s Like and Dislike counters have been a constant presence at the bottom of videos since the beginning of time, but in order to curb abuse and so-called dislike assaults, YouTube will begin suppressing dislike counts.

In an official YouTube blog post, the company claimed that an experiment in which dislike numbers were hidden on specific videos revealed that hiding dislikes reduced the frequency of dislike attacks (when users target a video with dislikes in a campaign of harassment) and could prevent specific videos from being targeted—particularly on new or smaller channels where dislike attacks occur at a higher rate.

However, the dislike button will not be completely removed. Changes are now “coming out gradually,” and exact dislike numbers will be secret and only available to the video creator on YouTube’s dashboard under the engagement page after that.

According to YouTube’s creator liaison Matt Koval, who made a short video to explain the company’s decision, users have turned the dislike counter into a game, often trying to drive up the number of dislikes, sometimes even in a coordinated attack against a video’s creator for no other reason than that the user dislikes them.

YouTube conducted a study and concluded that the amount of dislikes on a video did not have a significant influence on the overall number of views. To summarize, the amount of dislikes didn’t serve as an accurate indicator of a video’s popularity or usefulness to viewers.

While hate totals are still available to the video’s producer, Koval said that by obscuring the particular amount in YouTube’s dashboard, the company claims that dislike counts are less likely to cause a creative more worry and anxiety.

When asked whether this adjustment was done to mask YouTube’s shame over the 2018 Rewind video, Koval quipped that some would think so, but he clarified that the upgrade is truly only meant to safeguard content producers throughout YouTube, regardless of their genre.