Image Credit: YouTube
YouTube are going to trial not showing the dislikes on certain videos in an attempt to breed a healthier community, though responses are mixed already.
If you’ve spent enough time on YouTube then you know that at times, the communities on there can be quite intense – to put it nicely. Whilst there are plenty of lovely, creative, thoughtful, and kind people on YouTube there is also sadly a large group of people who are much less sensitive.
YouTube have announced that they are testing a few designs that will hide the dislikes on a video so that viewers can’t see them. The dislike count will still be visible in the YouTube Studio for the original creator but the hope is that removing the dislike ratio from public view will prevent harmful trends like dislike campaigns. The action is in response to creators who say their wellbeing is compromised by targeted campaigns using dislikes.
Viewers will still be able to dislike a video and can share feedback on any videos to help inform their own recommendations as well as inform YouTube of problematic content. YouTube said on Twitter: “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.”
Creators have had varying responses to the decision so far. Of course some are in support of the decision for their wellbeing but other creators have opposed the test, citing the dislike function as a useful gauge for the community to recognise poor content.
To please everyone, YouTube will need to find a way to prevent dislike campaigns whilst still allowing dislikes to be viewable for context. There is potential that this feature test will lead to alternatives, but for now it seems as though YouTube aren’t considering other options.