Since 2019, Google’s video site has been experimenting with ways to disarm the dislike button in response to targeted campaigns and improve well-being. YouTube is now moving forward with hiding the audience dislike count.
In March, a YouTube test hid the dislike count for some users, but retained the ability to press the button. This change is now permanent and will start rolling out gradually today. The site found that this resulted in a “reduction in unsympathetic attack behavior”.
But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to increase the count.
Another discovery was:
We’ve also heard directly from small creators and those just starting out that they’re being unfairly targeted by this behavior – and our experience has confirmed that it happens in a higher proportion on smaller channels.
Creators will still have access to the precise number of dislikes in YouTube Studio, without changing the statistics.
Google heard user feedback and acknowledged that “some of you have used public dislike counts to help decide whether or not to watch a video.” Meanwhile, videos you don’t like will continue to adjust your recommendations, are you still able to see the number of likes versus the number of views.
We know you might not agree with this decision, but we think it’s the right thing for the platform to do.
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