YouTube Removes Dislike Count on All Videos to Benefit Big Brands (and Itself)

YouTube Rewind 2018 the most disliked YouTube video of all time
YouTube Spotlight/ YouTube

The Google-owned video-sharing platform YouTube recently announced its decision to remove the “dislike” count on videos across its platform. Although the Masters of the Universe claim their motivation is “protecting creators,” YouTube itself has suffered from massive dislike counts on videos like its infamous “YouTube Rewind 2018,” the most disliked video in the history of the platform.

TechCrunch reports that YouTube has announced that it will be making the “dislike” count on all videos private across the platform. This decision will likely impact the public perception of a video’s reception and overall performance, meaning that it could prove to be a controversial move.

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks during the introduction of YouTube TV at YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. Google’s online package of about 40 television channels debuts on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in the tech industry’s latest bid to get cable-shunning millennials to pay for television. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks during the introduction of YouTube TV at YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

YouTube reportedly believes that the change will help to protect creators from harassment and “dislike attacks,” in which groups coordinate to mass dislike a single video.

Google boss Sundar Pichai is masked up ( Drew Angerer /Getty)

The platform has made it clear that the dislike button will still appear on videos, users will just be unable to see how many dislikes the video has received. Creators will be able to track how many dislikes a video has received alongside their other analytics in the YouTube Studio dashboard.

The Google subsidiary ran an experiment earlier this year to test if removing the dislike count would reduce dislike attacks and creator harassment. YouTube said at the time that the public dislike count can affect creators’ well-being and could motivate harassment campaigns.

While it’s true that many dislikes on a video may be a result of a targeted campaign, dislikes also help to show that certain videos are clickbait, spam, or misleading.

YouTube experimented with multiple designs to remove the dislike counts including one where the word “Dislike” appeared underneath the thumbs down button rather than displaying the number of dislikes the video h already received. This design has now been implemented across the platform.

YouTube began to heavily investigate the removal of dislike counts following their own “YouTube Rewind 2018” video becoming the most disliked YouTube video in history.

Major brands have also found themselves embarrassed by the dislike system, such as Gillette which found its anti “toxic masculinity” commercial amongst some of the most disliked YouTube videos of all time in 2019.

Read more at TechCrunch here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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