SAN ANGELO, TX –– For years new and smaller YouTube creators have felt"unfairly targeted" by users who participate in the "dislike attacks" as a form of harassment. A study conducted by YouTube showed the channels with a smaller amount of followers were the most impacted by this trend.
In an effort to prevent abuse, YouTube announced it will be making a significant change to its interface. The change will result in the dislike count no longer being displaced under videos –– even as the dislike button remains.
"At YouTube, we strive to be a place where creators of all sizes and backgrounds can find and share their voice. Earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks — where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos," said the streaming platform in a statement. "As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior."
While the dislike count will be no longer visible to the general public, creators will still be able to find their exact dislike counts in YouTube Studio. Viewers will still be able to dislike videos to tune their recommendations and privately share feedback with creators.
"We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves," said YouTube. "We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform."