In an attempt to curb the dislike attacks and digital harassment for creators on the platform, YouTube will be hiding counts of dislikes on a video. Earlier this year, the videos sharing platform YouTube conducted an experiment with the dislike button on the platform, wherein the removal of dislike count reduced the chances of viewers targeting a specific video. As it turns out, YouTube deems the experiment to be successful in curbing hate for creators based on the dislike button and will be removing the public dislike count from the platform in the coming days.
In an official blog post published on November 10, 2021, YouTube has announced that the platform is "making dislike counts private across YouTube, but the dislike button is not going away. This change will start gradually rolling out today." Adding to it, YouTube says "we want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe and express themselves."
Over the past few months, YouTube has been adding features to the platform to improve positive interactions between creators and viewers. Earlier this year, YouTube performed an experiment with the dislike button with an aim to protect creators from harassment on the platform and decrease the number of dislike-based attacks. As a part of the experiment, dislike count on YouTube videos was not shown to certain viewers involved in the experiment.
YouTube states that as the dislike count was not visible to viewers, they were less likely to target a video's dislike button to drive up the count, showing a reduction in dislike attacking behaviour. The experiment was conducted in July 2021. YouTube also mentions that the dislike-targeting behaviour is highly observable with news channels and creators with lesser subscribers. The removal of dislike count might avoid dislikes due to crowd mentality.
As a result of the implementation, creators will still be able to see their dislike counts in YouTube Studio along with other statistics about the videos they upload. In addition, viewers will still be able to use the dislike button, as it will also help YouTube to recommend better videos to them. However, the dislike count will not be available on a video for the public. As and when a user dislikes the video, the feedback will be shared with the creators privately.