Stats will still be visible in YouTube Studio
American video-sharing platform YouTube has announced that it is experimenting with hiding dislikes on creators’ videos to discourage “dislike mobs” from “deliberately downvoting videos” from creators and channels.
As per The Verge, the experiment is a different implementation than the solutions the company had previously discussed, but it is similar to other attempts by platforms like Instagram which have taken to nip targeted attacks in the bud.
In the current setup, stats for both likes and dislikes are visible in a creator’s individual YouTube Studio page, but only likes will be displayed publicly on a video.
In a support article explaining the test, YouTube said that dislikes can negatively impact a creator’s well-being and “may motivate a targeted campaign of dislikes on a creator’s video.”
👍👎 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. If you're part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below!). pic.twitter.com/aemrIcnrbx— YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021
Creators rely on likes and dislikes as a form of feedback to guide their creative output and to create new content.
When YouTube first announced it was looking into addressing problems with dislikes, it was considering three ideas: hiding the numbers for both likes and dislikes, adding more friction to disliking something through requiring extra interaction, or removing likes and dislikes entirely.
Photo-sharing application Instagram experimented with a similar kind of test when it decided to hide likes on posts. Obviously, likes are inherently positive, but chasing a high like count can have its own negative impact on creators whose livelihoods depend on closely monitoring how their posts are appearing.
YouTube isn’t testing hiding dislikes on all creators’ videos, but if you notice them on your page or you have an opinion as a viewer, YouTube is collecting feedback on its site.