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YouTube Removing Dislike Button: The Implications

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YouTube is removing the dislike button on videos, the company announced to users in a blog post.

According to YouTube, it would start making the dislike counts on videos private.

The dislike button is a public visibility symbol that conveys user sentiment on a YouTube post.

The decision comes after a July 2021 experiment.

The latest change has started gradually rolling out globally

In the experiment, YouTube gave viewers access to the dislike button but hid the count from them.

After hiding the dislike, the data showed a reduction in “dislike attacking behavior,” the platform said.

“We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behavior—and our experiment confirmed that this does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels.”

Why Youtube is removing the dislike button

YouTube claims that people have attacked smaller content creators and those just getting started with the dislike button.

The platform said it has made the change to protect users from harassment.

Also, it said removing the dislike button will save creators from “dislike bombing.”

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YouTube also said it will reduce “stress and embarrassment” for creators.

The company said that this change was part of an ongoing goal within YouTube to make the platform more inclusive.

It also said the move is to also eliminate harassment and hate.

Matt Koval, creator liaison at YouTube, explained in a video as follows:

“Overall, it’s much less likely to cause stress and embarrassment if the count isn’t visible to the public.”

Uses of the dislike button

The dislike button helps content creators understand how their content is performing.

The dislike button helps users still fine-tune their preferences and get recommendations accordingly on a post’s claims.

What it means

YouTube is not removing the dislike button entirely from everybody.

It is only removing the feature from public view.

However, YouTube users will no longer see how many dislikes a video has got.

So, users can still see the dislike button on YouTube videos.

They can also, still click to dislike a video.

However, the total number of dislike that a YouTube post generates will no longer show to everyone.

Only the creator of the post can see and know how many dislikes his or her post gets.

The creators can view their exact dislike counts in YouTube Studio under the engagement tab.

Likewise, not having the dislike count would take away context from viral contents

So, people will no longer know why content on YouTube is popular.

This is especially if the creator of the content turns the comment section on such posts off.

Also, users have used the metric about dislikes to identify contents with “fishy, misleading, or outright false information.”

This means dislike-bombing. It is a collective response by users to show dislike for a content.

Users could also report such contents and YouTube could remove such a content following the dislike metrics.

But now, that might not be the case.

What People are saying

Many users of the platform have knocked YouTube over the plan to remove the dislike button.

Some have said the move will likely only favor large brands and corporations.

Many big brands create advertisement videos about their products.

People rely on the reviews on such brand products to make their decisions on whether to buy such products or not.

And they make decisions relying on the number or ratio of dislikes as against the content as regards the likes.

Just like on Google Play Stores or Apple Stores where you find the “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” on some apps.

The thumbs-up shows positive likes while the thumbs-down shows dislikes.

Meanwhile, a 2018 YouTube post is a content with the highest ever number of dislikes on the platform.

It currently has 19 million dislikes.

Similarly, the video post by YouTube explaining it wants to remove the dislike button currently has over 106, 000 dislikes!

So, users claim the move by the platform will only favour big brands like itself and not creators.

Similarly, other users have said Google decided how well its ranking algorithm for comments is working through dislike button.

However, they opined that Google’s algorithm might no longer have need for the button to perform its ranking.

Google owns YouTube.

But, YouTube dismissed has user complaints that the move amounts to censorship and protecting big brands and advertisers.

Implication:

Removing the dislike button will surely help the mental health of content creators.

When a creator sees many dislikes on their videos, it may discourage them and make them feel bad.

However, to some, this encourages them to do a better content.

Also, the dislike helps people make decisions on the claims of contents.

However, that opportunity is now challenged with the removal.

However, there could be an alternative to Dislike Button.

Platforms can design a check box where people can still explain why they dislike a content.

Anthony Chinonso Ogbonna is the editor of Techuncode media. He is a seasoned journalist whose stint cuts across broadcast, print and, especially, the online media. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Anthony holds a Masters Degree in Multimedia Journalism. He aligns his belief with those of world tech communities, holding tenaciously that the world is solely driven and can only be best with tech. Furthermore, Anthony believes that technology is simple, fun and is not what one, especially Africans, should be scared of, hence, his passion for telling compelling stories about tech in ways relatable to the ordinary user. He has his hobbies in reading and designing (new hobby though.)

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