In an attempt to make the YouTube platform more hospitable to creators, the virtual content creator platform will no longer show the number of dislikes on videos to help protect smaller creators from dislike-attacking behaviours.
As a metric for ranking content, YouTube has relied on the tiny thumbs below each video for years as viewers used the thumbs-down button to cause discomfort to certain creators.
In March, the platform experimented with the dislike button to see if changes could mitigate harassment on its platform and found out that hiding the dislike count from viewers made them less likely to hit the thumbs down button.
What YouTube is saying
The company said making the dislike count private will promote respectful interaction between viewers and creators citing a desire to protect its smaller creators from public shaming through dislike attack that further leads more people to increase the dislike on a certain video.
Noting that the button itself is not going away but hidden from public view, it stated, “We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behaviour.
“We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we will continue to invest here.”
Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s Chief Executive Officer in September had said that YouTube was a really valuable resource for teenage mental health, hence, the company will provide more internal research on the subject to U.S. Congress.
What you should know
While this move to hide the dislike button represents one to keep creators happy because the platform is facing its first real competition for talent in years from rivals like Instagram, TikTok and Spotify as Instagram recently let users hide their like counts on posts in response to criticism about the stress the feature places on young users. It may also be a result of the new online safety bill by the UK government that threatens whoever purposely causes psychological harm with potential jail terms.