It has long been an important element of the site, so we explain why YouTube doesn’t like it.
In the fight to curb online abuse, many social media platforms are taking steps to mitigate this. YouTube is one of these; the company is currently doing an experiment in which dislike amounts are hidden from public view.
So, what does this mean? You won’t be able to like videos anymore, and will creators miss out on getting valuable feedback? This article will answer both of these questions and more.
A history of Likes and Dislikes on YouTube
YouTube launched in 2005 but doesn’t always use likes and dislikes. In its early years, users provided feedback using a star system. Depending on their thinking, they can rank each video from one to five stars.
But in 2009, the platform questioned whether the star rating system was a valuable way to provide feedback. In a YouTube Blog post published in September of that year, YouTube said:
We’re glad there are so many great videos on YouTube, but all of this be asks the question: if the majority of videos are 5 stars, how useful is this system really? Is dislike more effective or dislike a trick to declare your love for videos?
Lo and behold, a system of likes and dislikes was introduced later.
Since then, users have expressed their or disagree with each video by like or dislike it. The number of dislikes and dislikes has been shown to the public.
Why is YouTube experimenting with removing likes and dislikes?
On its official Twitter account, YouTube said it would experiment with hiding the number of dislikes “in response to creator feedback on health status and targeted dislike campaigns.”
Dislike on YouTube makes it easy for users to target creators because it takes a lot of effort. All users need to do is sign in with their Google account and tap the dislike button.
Some users may also feel entitled to dislike the video because the vote is anonymous.
YouTube isn’t the first social media platform to try hiding certain feedback features to improve health. In March 2021, Instagram accidentally launched an experiment that hid the number of likes for more users than originally planned.
In 2019, Facebook – which owns Instagram – also tried to hide the number of likes each post received.
Can YouTube creators still see their dislikes?
While YouTube has to do what it can to protect users’ mental health, it’s important to remember that not always dislike is harmful. For many creators, they can serve as important feedback to help them produce more meaningful content in the future.
It seems that YouTube has admitted this. Users may still not like videos, they just don’t see some next to the icon. As Google pointed out on the YouTube Community forum, creators can still see how many dislikes they get.
If you’re a creator and selected as part of a YouTube experiment, you’ll see your dislikes in Studio. Nothing new has been added in this way, so you can take the same steps as before.
Elimination does not like Treat a symptom, not a cause
Dislikeing videos takes very little effort, so it’s easy to see why some creators are targeted. Removing likes from public view can help avoid these issues from ariseing.
YouTube also seems to note that dislikes can also serve as a great source of feedback. As such, users can still give creators an idea of how they can improve their videos.
But despite YouTube’s efforts, eliminating the amount of public dislike won’t prevent abuse. If this feature is fully launched, keyboard warriors will find other ways to leave their mark. Therefore, the foundation needs to be vigilant.