YouTube won’t escape the mockery for their poor decisions.
YouTube announced today it will begin testing what could end up being a significant change to its video platform: It’s going to try hiding the dislike count on videos from public view. The company says it will run a “small experiment” where it will try out a few different designs where dislike counts are no longer shown, however none will see the “dislike” button itself removed entirely.
The company announced the tests on Twitter, but then explains further in a community forum post that the goal is not to remove the ability for users to signal they disliked a video — creators will still have access to the video’s like and dislike count from YouTube Studio and dislikes will still help power YouTube’s recommendation algorithms.
Instead, YouTube says that the idea to try hiding dislikes is based on creator feedback.
“We’ve heard from creators that the public dislike counts can impact their well-being and may motivate a targeted campaign of dislikes on a creator’s video,” the announcement reads. “So, we’re testing designs that don’t include the visible like or dislike count in an effort to balance improving the creator experience, while still making sure viewer feedback is accounted for and shared with the creator.”
Of course, there can be a sort of mob mentality that accompanies the use of the Like and Dislike buttons on YouTube. But seeing the dislike count can also help to signal to others when videos are clickbait, spam or misleading, which can be helpful.