YouTube has announced that it would no longer display dislike numbers on all videos on its platform. YouTube hopes that this modification would encourage "respectful interactions between viewers and creators." It will also safeguard small creators who are the victim of dislike attacks or harassment.
To reduce targeted dislike attacks & their impact on creators (esp on smaller creators), you’ll no longer see a public dislike *count* on YouTube starting today (the dislike button is staying).— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 10, 2021
This comes after lots of research, testing & consideration → https://t.co/mJWDJSSRoG
The dislike button, however, will not be removed from the platform, and users will still be able to dislike any video. According to YouTube, the dislike count would only be seen to creators as private feedback, which will help prevent some public shaming.
We’ve seen that when creators used the option and chose to turn off likes/dislikes on their videos, they can be bullied and harassed for that decision. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to protect the YouTube community so we’ve decided to make this change across all videos— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 10, 2021
Furthermore, smaller creators think they have just recently launched a channel and are being unfairly targeted by this behaviour, which was proven by a platform experiment. According to YouTube, people are more likely to engage in attacking behaviour on small channels.
Twitter has mixed reactions over YouTube's decision.
Gee, it's almost like people already know that hiding dislikes is deflecting criticism.— Arrow➡️ Art Raffle! (@ThatWolfArrow) November 10, 2021
That’ll happen whether dislikes are there or not. Dislikes were a good feature. Listen to your audience...— GarrettD100 (@Garrett64495528) November 11, 2021
OH MY GOD! this is literally the response a 3rd grade teacher has, “someone in the class doesn’t like [blank] therefor the entire class can no longer participate in [blank]”— Adam (@piratepilots) November 11, 2021
Yeah, because the people who do it often did horrible things and turn their likes, dislikes, and comments off to avoid consequences for their actions 😐 people are pissed at them for a reason 90% of the time.— ꧁༒𝔻𝕒𝕣𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘༒꧂ (@DarlingD3arest) November 11, 2021