YouTube has just issued an official statement: they will gradually eliminate the public count of Dislike for all videos published on the platform, in order to counter offenses and disparaging comments. Youtube is implementing a change to make the dislike count for videos private. The Dislike button will not disappear completely: the creators or those who manage the YouTube channel will still be able to view this statistic, unlike the viewers.
In short, the “dislikes” will become private data and will only be used by those who put them on to help the platform algorithm to recommend videos that are more suitable for their taste. Thus, if a make-up enthusiast happens to be in a video on nail art, in which he is not interested, he can put dislike to make sure that the algorithm understands what to suggest or not.
The aim is to avoid offenses
According to YouTube executives, highlighting the number of people who did not like a particular video was an implicit way to authorize those same people to insult YouTubers in the comments. In an official post, the American company explained that “avoiding showing the number of dislikes also considerably decreases the amount of harassing attitudes and attacks”.
The objective behind the removal of Dislike will be to create an “inclusive and respectful” space in which video makers can have a greater chance of success and at the same time feel more protected. Obviously, the Youtube initiative does not represent a guarantee against any form of hatred or contempt on the part of a certain type of user but, at least, it will limit more marginal initiatives that could compromise the success of a video.
The thumbs down have always been seen as a controversial object: only Reddit, so to speak, has decided to keep it (because there it is needed in the news ecosystem to keep it of quality), and all the other social networks do not have, in fact, a real mechanism for expressing dissent. This also becomes a problem, in the long run, because it leads to a potentially aseptic community, in which everyone is right.
Bye-bye Dislike: Youtube has made its decision
Youtube is aware of how much the number of dislikes below a video can affect the viewer’s perception and their willingness to continue viewing or not. Moreover, it often happens that new and smaller content creators are targeted by haters of all kinds: the tests conducted in recent months, in fact, seem to have greatly reduced the phenomena just described.
Some users, however, do not seem to have positively welcomed the news: there are in fact those who believe that the public, or at least the healthy part of it, should have the full right to express discontent and perplexity towards a particular video and that “hide the number of Dislikes represents a sort of censorship” by Youtube.
The removal of dislikes at the time of writing is not yet active, from a quick test we did, and we imagine that it depends on the gradual release or rollout times of the various international versions of the site. At the same time, the removal of the thumbs down from Youtube could mark a new era, in which it would be worthwhile to reflect on the right to criticize and ask oneself if it really is so tragic to receive dislike from someone.
Furthermore, it is not certain that all this will work on a large scale, also because finding new tricks for those who like to annoy should not be complex. However, it is a first step, something that may discourage most people from spreading contempt towards those who have a different opinion.
P.S. A curiosity: the same video announcing the disappearance of the count is immediately targeted by “dislike”, the swan song of an instrument that now becomes more of private use than of collective meaning.