YouTube has decided that the number of “dislikes” within videos will no longer be visible. The move, according to the company’s part of the Alphabet group, was necessary to “create an inclusive and respectful environment.” So far, YouTube and Reddit are one of the few platforms that offer users the ability to vote against content, while social networks like Twitter, Facebook and TikTok are pushing towards more positive and less divisive interactions.
Instagram introduced the ability to hide “likes” from photos posted in May. As the YouTube team explains, thumbs are often used by subscribers to conduct hate and bullying campaigns against other users. In the testing phase, the changes “reduced the likelihood that people would click the ‘Dislike’ button on a video to increase the number of their videos.” Browsers will still be able to click ‘Dislike’, which will improve the recommended content, but the ‘Dislike’ count will no longer be public but only available to video creators.
“This is an important step to curb behavior that aims to silence and harass content creators, especially smaller channels and channels that are just starting to post,” a company spokesperson explains on the company’s blog.
The post on YouTube announcing plans to hide the number of “dislikes” was also disliked by 33,000 people, garnering more than four times the number of “likes”. After the news, YouTube dismissed user complaints that the move amounted to censorship and protection for major brands and advertisers.
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