Recently, video sharing service YouTube, which is currently the second-most-used online platform , announced that while the "dislike" button would remain on videos, the actual dislike count would be made private.
While the video's creator will still be able to see how many 'dislikes' their video has received, users will not. YouTube’s claims it's aiming to reduce cyber bullying and the harassment of content creators, regardless of their reach. YouTube revealed via an official blog post that it had conducted an experiment earlier this year where the dislike button was available to viewers, but the dislike count was hidden. As a result of the count being hidden, it found that viewers or commenters were less likely to leave a dislike and engage in targeted harassment, which tends to occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels.
YouTube added that it had heard directly from these smaller creators, as well as those just getting started, that many felt they were often unfairly targeted by efforts to increase the number of dislikes. According to the company, maintaining like count access in the Youtube Studio will still allow those creators to determine how their content is performing and even how to improve it.
Despite Youtube's stated intention, many users have expressed negativity toward the change. There is an argument that this move was designed to help Youtube capture more views by hiding what is effectively a quick public review of videos. "Dislikes" often function as a means to alert viewers that the content might be disappointing. And considering that approximately 720,000 hours of content are uploaded to the site every day, the dislike button helps users to distinguish between what is worth watching and what is not. There are unfortunately a large number of content creators who purposely trick viewers with faulty thumbnails, inappropriate content, or clickbait titles, and users could save several minutes of their time by taking a look at the like-dislike ratio before deciding to click "play."
Here’s to hoping that the company will balance these changes to most effectively meet the needs of both the creators, and the users.