YouTube announced Wednesday, Nov. 10, that it will start hiding dislike counts on all accounts to protect small creators from harassment and being targeted by dislike attacks or mobs.
Viewers will still be able to see and use the thumbs down button below any video, but will no longer see the tally. Meanwhile, creators can view it along with other existing metrics, such as views, watch time, subscribers, and estimated revenue, on YouTube Studio.
The Google-owned video streaming platform first announced its plans to address problems with dislikes in 2019. At that time, the company was still considering three ideas: hiding the numbers for both likes and dislikes, adding more friction to disliking something through requiring extra interaction, or removing likes and dislikes entirely.
It is clear that the company saw the third one to be the most beneficial, with them testing it out on select users in March this year.
“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,” YouTube explained in the blog post published on Wednesday.
“In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior. 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.”
YouTube’s new scheme may not be the same as Facebook and Instagram’s hidden like counts, but it’s likewise significant in curbing the negative impact of unsolicited criticism on any creator’s mental health.