In what they are spinning as a step forward, YouTube announced it will be removing the dislike count from public view. Creators will still be able to see the total count privately.
Citing an experiment conducted in July 2021, the move is an effort to reduce harassment and dislike attacks. The rollout will come in waves until all channels have been addressed.
The official statement explained:
“… earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks—where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.”
YouTube says that the results showed that creators experienced a reduction in online harassment. It stated that this harassment was more common for small channels and those just starting.
Many are speculating the move results from many Biden administration videos receiving significantly more dislikes than likes.
Wonder why 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/5qcqdpZHYK
— ₿hargav (@ThatIndianGuy) November 10, 2021
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) November 11, 2021
I will say it AGAIN. YouTube's removal of the dislike button is NOT to protect creators. It's to protect massive companies like Disney and politicians.
We slowly march deeper into the censorship abyss pic.twitter.com/enQQYchMbg
— TrueUnderDawg (@TrueUnderDawg1) November 11, 2021
Imagine a president so unpopular, YouTube removes the dislike button 👎🤣
— AMERICAN BADASS 🇺🇲 (@SWFLPatriot) November 14, 2021
Last April, 2.5 million dislikes were removed from the official White House channel for Joe Biden. YouTube cited vague authority to delete what they feel are spam likes and dislikes.
The world noticed that this removal of likes coincided with this experiment, except that the experiment was to completely hide the count, not reduce nor temper the number of dislikes.
If they are deliberately manipulating the dislikes, however, that opens a whole new can of worms.
On the flip side of the coin, many viewers used the dislike count to determine if a video was worth watching. YouTube acknowledged this but firmly stood with its decision.
YouTube said its goal is to create an inclusive and respective environment for creators.
Of course, it wants creators to be successful, and there are many ways to do that without treading on First Amendment rights.
The statement closed:
“This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we’ll continue to invest here.”
Perhaps YouTube could limit showing any like or dislike count for any video under 100 views. It’s always a good idea to ban the chronically violent trolls.
The algorithm could be made to do anything humanly conceivable.
Users have already found a workaround—they are simply typing “dislike” in the comments.
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