YouTube launches test to hide video ‘dislike’ counts

YouTube on Tuesday announced that it has launched a ‘small experiment’ to test several new designs that do not display a public dislike count. — AP

LOS ANGELES: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

For years, YouTube has allowed viewers to rate the videos on the site using either the “like” or “dislike” icons. But only now has the Google-owned video platform gotten the message that the thumbs-down button might be a means of bullying individual YouTube users.

YouTube on Tuesday announced that it has launched a “small experiment” to test several new designs that do not display a public dislike count. That came in response “to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns”, YouTube explained in a tweet.

“If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks,” YouTube said in the tweet.

YouTube creators will continue to be able to see the number of likes and dislikes in the YouTube Studio dashboard tool. Viewers who are included in the test will still be able to like or dislike a video to “share feedback with creators” and help inform the recommendations they see on YouTube.

Notoriously, YouTube itself was the target of a broad “dislike” campaign a little more than two years ago.

In December 2018, the platform’s YouTube Rewind – its annual recap of culture and meme trends – set the record for the most dislikes less than a week after it was posted. Critics were unhappy that that year’s Rewind featured mainstream celebs like Will Smith, Trevor Noah and John Oliver while it ignored many native YouTube creators. Currently, it has 19 million “dislikes” and 2.9 million “likes”. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed that her kids told her the video was “cringey”. – Variety/Reuters

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