YouTube announced that he will hide the number of dislikes of the public on the videos of his site, starting today. The company says the change aims to prevent small creators from being the targets of anti-aversion attacks or harassment, and to promote “respectful interactions between viewers and creators.” The Dislike button will still be there, but it will be for private comments, rather than public shame.
This move is not unexpected. In March, YouTube announced that it was trying to hide the public dislike numbers, and individual creators have long since the ability to hide ratings on their videos. But the fact that the aversions count is disappearing for everyone (gradually, according to YouTube) is a big deal – viewers are used to being able to see the aversions ratio as soon as they click on a video and can use that number. to decide whether to keep watching. From now on, this will no longer be an option, but it could close a vector of harassment.
YouTube says that when it tested dislike number masking, people were less likely to use the button to attack the creator – commenting “I just came here to dislike” was apparently less satisfying when you didn’t. don’t actually see the number increase. This behavior may continue to some extent, however, as creators will be able to see dislike numbers for their own video in YouTube Studio. The company says it still allows well-meaning viewers to leave private comments for content creators or use dislikes to adjust the algorithm’s video recommendations.
Other social networks have also given users the option to hide rating metrics – Instagram and Facebook allow you to hide the number of likes if you want to avoid the potential social pressure that comes with being your primary measure of success on the market. platform is shown to everyone. That’s not exactly a perfect comparison – the number of likes your YouTube video gets will still be public (if you leave public ratings turned on), and Instagram hasn’t turned off likes site-wide yet, but this shows a growing concern about data creators have access to data to which their audiences have access.
Disliking going private could help hide an embarrassing part of YouTube’s story: The most hated video on the entire site is the company’s own Rewind from 2018. This particular recap video sparked so angry that YouTube recently announced that Rewind’s annual videos have been canceled. There’s also an argument that not being able to see audience dislikes might cause users to watch a video that isn’t very good – hypocritical apologies, perhaps, or informative content that ends up being. advertising.
Still, YouTube’s argument that it wants to protect small creators from crowds or harassment is hard to dispute. It’s easy to imagine workarounds for some of the other ideas that were launched to combat this behavior, which included requiring additional information on why you didn’t like the video or the graying out of the I button. dislike until you have watched a certain amount of the video. Instead, people who leave dislikes will do so purely for the eyes of the creator – and shouting into the void just isn’t the same as booing publicly.