As of November 10th, YouTube announced that it would hide “dislike” counts on the platform.
At the beginning of this year, the platform began an experiment to see if hiding the dislike count on videos could “help better protect creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks –– where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.”
From the experiment, YouTube’s assumptions were confirmed. “Because the count was not visible to viewers, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count,” the platform said in their announcement.
The platform had also been contacted by smaller creators who were just beginning their YouTube channel.
These lesser-known YouTubers felt disproportionately targeted by “dislike attacks.” Youtube’s experiment confirmed this notion, too.
“Our experiment data showed that this behavior does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels,” the platform added.
This pivot comes as YouTube faces growing public disapproval of “toxic” content on the platform and as creators have complained about being targeted by hateful speech and misinformation.
While the new change will not rid the platform of a dislike button, the exact number of dislikes will only be visible to the creator privately.
Since Youtube announced this experiment, and now the concrete change, the public has voiced mixed opinions. Some feel that this is important for mental health and wellbeing.