On 11th November 2021, YouTube announced that the dislike count on videos would be hidden from the public view. The announcement was met with a mixed reaction from both creators and the audience.
Let’s learn why this decision was taken.
To Protect Creators from Harrsament and Dislike Attacks
YouTube believes that creators are often faced with dislike attacks where people dislike a video to harass a creator. From their experiment, they found positive results in this aspect. By hiding the dislike count publicly, the attacks have gone down, and their goal was achieved.
So, problem solved, and no more discussion is needed, right?
I wish I could say that.
Here’s why the public dislike count was necessary.
It is one of the only ways the audience can express their opinions publicly.
YouTube is a platform where there are only a few ways through which a user can reach a creator. There’s only the Like and dislike section on the public forum and the comment section where they can voice their opinion about the video.
Taking away one of the only ways they can voice their opinion doesn’t sound like a great choice; furthermore, it reduces the reaction to bad choices taken by the creators.
It discourages creators from using Clickbait Titles and Thumbnails.
Speaking of bad choices, the good old clickbait.
Just to make things clear, I am not talking about reasonable clickbait; I am talking “Make a million dollars in 1 hour” level of clickbait.
When creators lower their standards and start misguiding the audience, the audience can voice their opinion through the dislike button. Since the dislike button is public, it also teaches the creator not to use such methods again or else it could ruin their channel’s reputation.
But now that fear is going away.
It helps the audience determine whether the video is worth watching.
Think about this scenario,
You are searching for a quick solution, you click on a video, but since you don’t have much time, you see the dislike ratio first, and 80% of people disliked it.
Chances are you won’t watch the video, and that’s the point.
From YouTube’s announcement, it seemed like it was all done to help the creators but is that all?
Hypothetically speaking, from the audience’s perspective, if the dislike rate is not publicly visible, they would have a harder time dealing with Click baits, leading them to watch more.
But again, going back to YouTube’s explanation, though, does it really help the cause?
The dislike ratio would be available to creators in the creators’ studio. Every creator is glued to the creator studio, so technically, it is still possible for creators to experience dislike attacks, but at the same time, YouTube acknowledges that dislikes are valuable user feedback.
My next worry is, what would YouTube do if people switched to the comment section for projecting their negative thoughts? Get rid of the comment sections altogether? I guess we would just wait and see.