YouTube announced it will no longer be showing the number of dislikes videos received after experimenting with the idea earlier this year.
Though the dislike button will still be available to help users customize their feed and recommendations, the company says that removing public dislike counts helps prevent group harassment like “dislike attacks”.
As YouTube explains in the announcement:
“As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior.”
This will presumably help provide creators with a more accurate view of how their community is responding to videos without interference from non-viewers. This information will still be available to creators in YouTube Studio, along with their other channel analytics.
YouTube does say the test wasn’t popular with everyone, and they expect some negative response to this decision. Still, they believe this change will be best for the site as a whole.
“We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform.”
The number of likes a video receives will still be publicly viewable for those who previously used dislikes to decide which videos to watch.
The company says this is just one of many steps it is planning to help ensure the platform is a positive space for discussion and creativity for everyone:
“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’ll continue to invest here.”
For more, you can watch the video explaining the decision below or read the full announcement here.