YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will now hide the dislike count on content on the video-sharing platform. Of course, many people have undermined the move and called it a blatant attempt by the company to hide the fact that YouTube itself has the most disliked video on YouTube, but there’s actually a more reasonable explanation.
According to reports, the decision of YouTube to hide dislike counts is in line with the company’s move to combat harassment from ‘dislike mobs,’ who mainly target smaller accounts.
Note that this does not mean that t the company will get rid of the dislike feature. YouTube only intends to remove the ‘dislike’ count on videos, although creators will still be able to see this information.
The company has taken this feature out for a spin earlier this year in March and had said Youtube’s disabled dislike count feature was intended to combat dislike campaigns. “In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count,” the platform announced via Twitter. According to YouTube, the decision to hide the dislike counts in the test run had helped discourage people from using the dislike button as a tool for hate.
Hiding the ‘dislike’ counts on the platform’s videos is probably a good thing. A high number of dislikes affects video recommendations and could also discourage users from seeing certain content. However, viewers could also think that some videos are frankly, not that good, but unfortunately, there’s no means of letting other people know to save their time and avoid such content. Either way, YouTube will not be the first social media platform to consider hiding engagement metrics to help the esteem of creators. Meta’s social media apps Instagram and Facebook, have features that help users hide their metrics from seeing eyes. Admittedly, this is a tad different from what YouTube is doing, as likes and views on YouTube will be visible to the public. Either way, YouTube, like other social media platforms, should be a place that creators are not afraid to share entertaining or informative content, and the platform is certainly trying to help.
Tell us what you think about the news in the comments below!