YouTube asserts that their decision was based on extensive research, testing and consideration, to "help better protect creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks." Beyond this, YouTube noted that they strive to "create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves"; however, many users on the platform are not convinced.
YouTube community slam decision to hide public dislike count
Responding to YouTube's post on Twitter, members of the YouTube community expressed their disapproval and criticized their decision to remove the public dislike count. However, a Twitter user correctly argued that "mass dislikes happen on videos that get bad reception" and that hiding the dislike count is only "babying channels that can't handle any kind of criticism."
I’m sorry, but what are these “targeted dislike attacks” you’re talking about? Mass dislikes happen on videos that get bad reception, that’s how it works. There’s no attacks happening. Hiding it is just babying channels that can’t handle any kind of criticism.— ⚡️Joe H⚡️ (@Hy__Voltage) November 10, 2021
Another Twitter user reciprocated this sentiment, calling the decision a joke. "This is to protect big corporations from criticism and to support their bottom line, full stop," the user said.
This is a joke. To protect small creators? This is to protect big corporations from criticism and to support their bottom line, full stop. Really disappointing, gonna have to reconsidery my premium sub.— Logan (@Logarithrn) November 10, 2021
However, YouTube subsequently shot down these claims, noting that their decision "comes after lots of research, testing and consideration" and reaffirmed their position was about "protecting [the] creators."
They continued to note further that "dislike attacks happen when users act to harass a creator by driving up the number of dislikes on their videos" and that their intentions are not to provide genuine feedback but to instead "hurt and harass creators."
While this may be true, YouTube also noted in its blog post that "creators will still be able to find their exact dislike counts in the YouTube Studio, along with other existing metrics." In addition, the dislikes will still influence viewers' recommended feeds, which will privately provide feedback to the creators.
Popular content creator ConnorEatsPants highlighted this, saying that if creators can still see the dislike counts then the decision only protects brands and corporations.
if a creator can still see their total dislikes from the dashboard this change literally only is good for brands/corporations lol— connor (@ConnorEatsPants) November 10, 2021
Naturally, the decision has received tremendous backlash regarding YouTube's failure to, at the very least, provide creators with options. In addition, other community members feel that the absence of dislike count deprecates the purpose of the dislike button entirely.
Indeed, YouTube's own "Rewind 2018" video was the most-disliked video on the entire platform. Hence, it's only natural to speculate whether this had any influence on YouTube's decision to protect its brand and interests.
Considering the immense pushback from users on the platform, it's arguable whether YouTube will pay attention and roll back on their decision. However, given YouTube's firm stance, it appears as though this is unlikely to transpire.
"We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform [...] Our work is not done, and we'll continue to invest here," YouTube concluded.
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