Earlier when the dislike button was released, it was aimed to inform the viewers about whether or not the video was liked by the audience. But off late, it has led to targeted dislike, hatred, and harassment for the creators.
Last week, YouTube announced that they are making the dislike count private across the platform, but the dislike button will remain. The move is to protect creators from harassment and reduce dislike attacks, where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s video. The dislike button is not going anywhere though and viewers can still see and use the dislike button. Creators can also check the dislike count in their YouTube Studio dashboard. According to the official announcement by YouTube, because the count was not visible, they found that the audience was less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count, reducing the dislike attacking behavior.
To understand how and what difference the change will bring in a YouTuber’s journey, we had a word with Slayy Point, Mythpat, Yashvi Bagga, Total Gaming, Funyaasi, Ahmed Meeran, Rajesh Kumar aka Facttechz, and Pranav Panpalia.
This is what they have to say about it!
Creators of BINOD, YouTubers Gautami & Abhyudaya of Slayy Point welcomed this initiative by YouTube and said, “When we heard about this for the first time, we were happy and had a sigh of relief. Sometimes many people just dislike a video because it already has a few dislikes and jumping on the same bandwagon is a lot easier. But later when we thought about it from the perspective of the audience, we had a different viewpoint. The number of dislikes helps people navigate easily towards the video that fulfills their purpose. When people look for tutorial videos on YouTube, they can know which one is the best based on the likes-dislikes ratio.”
“We also believe that whenever YouTube brings in a new update, it usually benefits both, content creators and the audience. So, we’ll have to wait and see how it’s accepted by the audience,” they added.
Mithilesh Patankar, gaming and entertainment content creators, popularly known as Mythpat on YouTube says, “The decision to hide likes from the audience is not a good move according to me. A balance of sorts is required. Honestly, it never bothered me that my videos got dislikes alongside the likes. I feel that the metric is important to understand mass opinion. One can understand how good or bad the video is just by seeing the like-dislike ratio. When someone shares their opinion on a subject matter, one can instantly understand if the audience has taken that opinion positively or not.”
He further adds, “I do agree that the dislike button is abused a lot, especially when rival creators use their power to demotivate or when people purposely dislike it for some cheap thrills. But I feel that is how the website stays ‘alive’. So, while this can be a wonderful and positive step to help reduce stress on creators, I still feel the dislike button is needed to voice opinions!”
India’s leading gaming YouTuber, Total Gaming said: “We’re in this industry to entertain people, make them laugh, and release their stress. Dislike number counter is the only demotivating factor here as it’s available ‘just at a click’. The button allows us to understand the ratio of positive to negative feedback, but having the numbers displayed is very stressful. This initiative by YouTube is a step in the right direction. It will clear the air and foster more positivity on the platform. We can now create videos without being stressed about the number of dislikes shown in the public.”
Yashvi Bagga, entertainment content creator thinks “YouTube was the only platform that promoted constructive criticism in a way, constructive because nobody could type in a bully comment or abuse you but just dislike as a means of disagreement with your viewpoint over a video. But now after the dislike is removed, it will ignite the audience with hate to go down to the comments and type in something that’ll be way more harassing than a mere dislike. While this initiative may be to help and protect content creators from targeted harassment but many realize that this is one step ahead of the hate that haters would spread. People who want to hate will look for worse ways hereafter! In the comments section, DMs on Instagram, some might even mail them hate which is going to be way more specific and targeted! And as we know comments are a better way of engagement over likes, the videos people hate will still trend.”
Micro influencer, entertainment content creator, Funyaasi says: “Although I understand the purpose is to avoid mob mentality or whatever, dislikes are going to be visible to the creator of the video. So it might still affect them. Channels with a high number of subscribers and views are the most likely to benefit from this feature. Sometimes the audience can become really swayed by rumors and news, rendering them ignorant of good content and taking their anger out on the comment section or dislike button.”
“It could also be a boon for small YouTubers, as comments can be ignored if you choose not to read them, but dislikes are immediately visible when you watch a video. For content creators, that really matters. So overall I think it’s a good initiative” Funyaasi adds.
Rajesh Kumar aka Facttechz – digital content creator and YouTuber says, “I think this is a right move by the platform. It will definitely result in the reduction of targeted disliking. I’ve also heard this from many of my friends and budding creators with smaller channels. Anyway viewers can still dislike the video and creators can see the count in the back-end studio analytics, so there’s no problem with it. I believe this is the right update and will help new creators grow in the industry.”
Ahmed Meeran – a digital content creator and singer says, “The move to ‘hide’ the dislike count by YouTube is no exception. There are two ways to look at it. On a positive note, removing the dislike count would be a great way to safeguard the mental health of any video creator. Some creators get subjected to targeted massive hate and online bullying and the audience chooses to dislike the video no matter what the content is. In such cases, creators feel targeted and it brings down their confidence. A hidden dislike count in such cases would serve the purpose.”
He further adds, “To creators who take negative criticism to heart, the hidden dislike count could help them relax a bit and focus purely on the content and not on its result much. But then, since the dislike count would just be “publicly hidden” and not removed as such, the viewers can still dislike the content and the creator can still access the count as personal or private feedback. Those who ‘want’ to be discouraged or feel targeted would still continue to do the same. It all just comes down to vanity and does not actually serve the purpose much, if the creator desperately chooses to view the dislike count privately. So it is up to a creator as to how to perceive this feature. On a personal note, I’ve never bothered too much about the like count or dislike count on my videos. To me, both are a sign of engagement. There could be many reasons behind why people could have disliked a particular video. But as long as they’re engaging with it, I’m happy. If I continuously get massive dislikes on my series of videos, then that’s honestly something to worry about. Otherwise, numbers are just a factor of vanity when it comes to social media platforms. As a creator, my aim has always been to focus on delivering content with great quality and just see the numbers as metrics to judge and not let numbers affect my physical or mental health. The long and short of it is that hiding the dislike count is a great move, yet feels questionable”
Commenting on YouTube experimenting with hiding dislike counter, Pranav Panpalia, founder, OpraahFx and OP Gaming, said, “I am glad to hear this much-awaited update from YouTube. While the dislike button allows creators to gather instant feedback, I don’t see a point in displaying the numbers to the public, as anyone can use this feature to demotivate the creators. Making the counter only visible to the content creators will save them from the unnecessary and sometimes planned negativity. Albeit filled with spams, the comments section still allows viewers to share more constructive feedback.”
He further adds, “Last year we all saw a dislike campaign for a Bollywood movie trailer which went on to become the most disliked trailer on YouTube. As content consumers, it’s really toxic to put people down, just because you can. Having said that, now that the dislike counter would be turned off, I am expecting people to make the right use of the comment box and converse with the creators on the hits and misses of the content. I feel that will be a much healthier practice, giving clear feedback and fostering a thriving consumer-creator ecosystem.”
What are your thoughts on the same? Tell us in the comments below!