YouTube is removing public dislike counts on all videos, though the dislike button will remain available for users to customize their recommendations.
This permanent change follows an experiment earlier this year where YouTube removed dislikes to see if it would help reduce “dislike attacks.”
“As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.”
According to YouTube, when users collectively dislike a video it’s a form of harassment against creators. Removing public dislike counts is designed to reduce said “harassment.”
Going forward, the dislike button will remain on videos, but the amount of clicks it receives will be private.
The button is now a tool viewers can use to customize the recommendations they receive across YouTube.
Channels can see how many dislikes their videos receive, if they choose to, in YouTube Studio along with other metrics.
YouTube acknowledges that the decision to remove dislike counts will not sit well with everyone:
“We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform.”
YouTube claims the results of its experiment indicate dislike counts have no measurable impact on a user’s decision to watch a video.
For more on YouTube’s rationale behind removing public dislikes, see its explainer video below:
If you found dislike counts were helpful when deciding whether to watch a video, you can still refer to the video’s comment section.
There you can also learn whether people generally agree with the content of the video, provided the channel hasn’t disabled user comments.
YouTube is committed to making more changes like this in the future:
“We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we’ll continue to invest here.”
Source: YouTube Official Blog
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