YouTube will no longer be showing the dislike count on videos, according to an update on their official blog. Viewers will still be able to dislike videos but only creators may view the exact count.
The popular video-sharing platform has announced a significant shift in how viewers can view dislikes. YouTube allows its users to ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ videos and, until now, this data was viewable to everyone.
Going forward, dislike counts will become private to everyone except the video’s creator. YouTube says the shift comes after an experiment conducted earlier this year. The platform tested out a feature wherein dislikes could not be viewed.
Findings suggested viewers were much less likely to spam a creator’s video with dislikes when they could not learn the current count. YouTube refers to this spamming as dislike attacking behaviour. The site says the practice was more commonly harming smaller creators.
The decision has been met with a wave of criticism from the platform’s creators and viewers. The move has been criticised as it prevents viewers from choosing what to watch based on other viewers’ ratings.
“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,” said YouTube in a blog post.
The current most-disliked video on YouTube is the platform’s official YouTube Rewind 2018, which received a mass surge of dislikes from the community. It currently sits at close to 20 million dislikes.
“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 the many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we’ll continue to invest here,” wrote YouTube.
The change is already in the process of being rolled out for most users.
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