YouTube tests hiding the dislike count on some videos
The next time you watch a video on YouTube, the platform’s design could look slightly different. That’s because YouTube is testing a new design that will hide a video’s public dislike count, something the platform said is being introduced following creator feedback.
For years YouTube has publicly displayed the like and dislike count on creator videos. But the new test will change that in an effort to protect the well-being of its community. The test is also to protect creators from “targeted dislike campaigns,” which mobs can sometimes weaponize for the simple reason that they don’t like someone.
Creators, you’ll still be able to see the exact number of likes and dislikes in YouTube Studio. For viewers, if you’re in the experiment, you can still like or dislike a video to share feedback with creators and help tune the recommendations you see on YouTube.
— YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021
You’ll still be able to see how many likes a video has, and you can still like and dislike a video. You just won’t be able to see how many dislikes a video has, which can sometimes motivate people to hit that button once they see the count going up.
Creators will be able to see the exact number of likes and dislikes a video has in Youtube Studio. YouTube said there’s currently no way to opt out of the experiment, but you can share your feedback by signing into your YouTube account, clicking on your profile picture, and finding the “Send feedback” option.
To be clear, YouTube said it’s not removing the dislike button, but instead experimenting to see what effect this has on the platform (and its creators). Likes and dislikes might not seem like a big deal to viewers, but they help boost a video’s visibility to those who aren’t subscribed to that channel. Likes are also an important way to provide feedback.
With the rise of social media, some people have questioned the value of “likes” and its effects on a user’s mental well-being. Instagram, for example, experimented with hiding the public like count on posts but has yet to commit one way or the other. YouTube said it’s testing a few different designs that don’t show the public dislike count, so you might see something different from the example above.