Thumbs down: YouTube to delete ‘dislike’ counts on videos

YouTube is moving to boost the confidence of its content creators and shield them from “dislike attacks” as it begins to hide “thumbs down” counts on videos.

Users of the platform will still be able to throw shade at a clip, but the number of dislikes a video receives will only be visible to the person who uploaded it, the company said Wednesday in a blog post.

The new policy comes after Google’s video service launched an experiment earlier this year to see if removing the count would protect content creators from harassment and campaigns that purposely drove up dislikes on a clip.

“In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior,” the company 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.”

The new policy is gradually being phased out — which will be of comfort to Justin Bieber, whose video for “Baby,” which previously held the record for most hated YouTube clip, still had 12 million downvotes visible on Thursday afternoon.

YouTube homepage in 2011.
YouTube announced the number of “thumbs down” counts will be hidden on videos in an effort to stop “dislike attacking behavior.”
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The YouTube logo on a iPad in 2011.
YouTube claims small content creators are “are unfairly targeted” by numerous dislikes.
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Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s music video for “Baby” famously held the record for the most dislikes on YouTube for years.
Getty Images for RMG

YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind,” “Baby Shark Dance” and the “Sadak 2” trailer have since eclipsed Bieber’s song on the infamous list, with a combined 46 million dislikes still viewable on the platform at press time.