As part of its continued attempt to combat abuse on the world's largest video platform, YouTube will now hide dislike numbers, or the number of thumbs-down votes given to content.
After testing the adjustment earlier this year and noticing a decline in "Dislike mobs," in which individuals purposefully downvote movies to drive up dislikes, the Google-owned site announced on Wednesday that it is making the statistic private.
The move comes as YouTube is under fire for its harmful content and complaints from producers who upload their films to the website.
Some people who have been the target of hate speech and misinformation have told the business that dislike counts can have a negative impact on their health.
YouTube isn't getting rid of the dislike button with the new upgrade, though.
YouTube claims that during its tests, it determined that dislike mobs disproportionately affect smaller channels.
Creators may be harmed by the attacks since a large number of dislikes might influence how YouTube distributes video suggestions.
Previously, producers could only turn off both like and dislike counts, which prevented them from displaying the statistics for videos with a large number of likes.
YouTube refused to provide detailed figures on how many dislike mobs it encountered during testing or which videos were the most popular targets.
Ironically, YouTube itself developed the video that was most affected by the move.
According to Brandwatch, the company's "2018 Rewind" video, which recapped the year's most popular videos and events on the platform, is the most disliked video of all time on YouTube.
With 14 million dislikes, "Baby Shark Dance" is ranked second on the list.
In 2019, Tom Leung, then-director of YouTube product management, offered possible solutions to the problem, which was "Lightly debated" at the time. His idea has now been implemented.
One concept was to have users give a reason why they disliked a video, which would prevent them from pushing the thumbs-down button haphazardly. This has not been implemented yet but does offer another avenue to protect creators.
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