YouTube is instituting a sweeping change to its platform today, hiding ‘dislike’ counts on all videos.
The change, YouTube said, was first tested earlier this year in a bid to crack down on so-called ‘dislike attacks’ — where users seek to drum up dislikes on a particular video as a bullying tactic. This can be particularly detrimental given that likes and dislikes have a bearing on YouTube’s recommendation systems.
That said, the dislike button isn’t going anywhere, users will still be able to express their dissatisfaction with a video, and creators will still be able to see their dislike counts within YouTube Studio. The change here is that these metrics will no longer be public.
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“Dislike attacks happen at a higher proportion on smaller creators and those just getting started,” the company said. “With this change, we saw a reduction in dislike attacking behavior, which is why we’re proceeding with making the dislike counts private across YouTube.”