Birchtree

Talking tech since 2010
| 1 min read

YouTube Totally Fixes Creator Abuse

YouTube announced they’re happy with the results of previous tests and are going to stop publicly showing dislike counts on videos:

Based on what we learned, we’re moving forward with making the dislike count private across YouTube–this means that the dislike button is staying, but the number of dislikes on a video will only be available to creators in Studio and not visible to the public on the video’s page. This change is gradually rolling out starting today.

And:

While we understand and respect that not everyone welcomes this change, it’s an important step to reduce behavior that aims to silence and harass creators, especially smaller creators and channels just getting started on YouTube.

Hey, I happen to be a smaller creator! Personally, I don’t like this change at all.

  1. Negative comments make way more of an impact on my mental well-being than dislikes on my videos.
  2. Dislike counts still show in YouTube Studio (creators’ dashboard), which happens to be the only place I see my likes/dislikes, so this doesn’t really change anything for me and I presume many others.

And then as a watcher, the ratio of likes to dislikes is super useful. When I open up a video and see a large proportion of dislikes to likes, that’s almost always an indicator that the video isn’t going to deliver on the promise. Yes, sometimes this is on videos where people are being unfair, but far more often for me are cases where it’s something like a tutorial video that is way too long, doesn’t get to the point, and isn’t worth my time.

A video with 2,000 views, 200 likes, and 10 dislikes is almost certainly good, but a video with 2,000 views, 200 likes, and 200 dislikes is probably pretty bad. After this change rolls out, those videos look the same.

I don’t have the same depth of knowledge about YouTube overall as the company itself, but from my perspective this change sounds like it will make watching experience a little worse and as a creator won’t change anything. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but color me skeptical on this change.

Show Comments