In a bid to protect creators well-being and stop targeted dislike campaigns, YouTube announced it is testing new designs that will let creators hide dislike counts on their videos.
The experiment is available to a few numbers of users and YouTube says the feedback it gets from it will determine how and when it will release it to everyone. Creators will still be able to see the exact like and dislike count they get in YouTube Studio even if they opt to use the feature.
Likes and dislikes are a big part of YouTube algorithm and how people use the platform. A video with a huge number of likes tells people it is an interesting content and it is recommended to users by the algorithm. A video with a huge number of dislikes is most likely controversial or the content is not what people want to see. When quizzed as to how this would impact people’s decision, YouTube replied in a tweet – “Viewer feedback is an important part of YouTube, but we’ve heard from creators that the current experience can negatively impact their wellbeing. We also know that public dislike counts sometimes motivate targeted campaigns of dislikes on some videos.”
An example of a targeted dislike campaign is a trailer video on the official PlayStation channel. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 2 was leaked prior to its final release date and a lot of video game players were angry about the story. The story trailers shared by PlayStation of the game had many dislikes and negative comments that YouTube was forced to hide both the like and dislike counts.
YouTube promised it will be keeping a close eye on its feedbacks for the experiment which will decide its final decision.