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YouTube gives thumbs down to dislikes and thumbs up to creator safety

After previously experimenting with the dislike button to see if it helps protect creators on the platform against harassment, Youtube has now finally decided to go ahead and hide public dislike counts altogether. So starting today, the dislike counts on videos will gradually begin to become private.

Creators will still be able to find their exact dislike count in Youtube Studio and all the other pre-existing metrics to understand how their content is performing. 

Viewers will still be able to dislike videos to fine-tune their recommendations further. However, the hidden dislike count might be a problem for those who use the number to decide whether or not to watch a video. 

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Saving creators from harrassment?

In an update on Wednesday, the company said that since the dislike count wasn’t visible to people as part of a prior experiment, audiences were less likely to specifically target a video’s dislike button and drive up the count indicating that hiding dislike counts might reduce dislike attacks. 

Individual creators could hide ratings on their videos. However, the fact that the metric is now gone across the platform is quite a big deal. Driving up the dislikes and trash-talking the comment of a small creator is going to be much less satisfying now. 

This change is in line with other social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, which have enabled users to hide the like count on their posts to avoid users falling under the pressure of maintaining a high number of likes — which is often considered the metric of success online by the general public. While this isn’t a perfect reproduction, considering the number of likes on your video and views will still be visible, it could save a lot of creators from unnecessary negative feedback or hate. 

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