YouTube removes dislike count to stop online ‘attacks’ on content creators

By Becky Bargh 18-Nov-2021

Google-owned platform found viewers were less likely to dislike a video if the count was removed, but some are giving the decision a thumbs down

Smaller content creators are worst targeted by dislike ‘attacks’

Video sharing platform YouTube has removed the dislike count for creators’ content in a bid to tackle harassment and reduce dislike ‘attacks’.

An experiment by the digital giant found that by removing the dislike count on a video, viewers were less likely to give them a thumbs down, thereby reducing ‘disliking’ behaviour.

A disproportionate amount of smaller creators are unfairly targeted by this type of disliking behaviour, YouTube also said.

“Based on what we learned, we’re making the dislike counts private across YouTube,” the Google-owned company said in a statement.

However, the dislike button has not gone away for good.

Creators can still find their exact dislike counts on YouTube Studio, along with other existing metrics, if they want to understand more feedback about their content.

During the pilot phase, meanwhile, YouTube had received some negative feedback from viewers, who claim that they use the public dislike count to assess whether or not they want to watch the video.

But YouTube has defended the decision, claiming that it is “the right thing to do for the platform”.

It added: “We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to feel safe to express themselves.

“This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done and we’ll continue to invest here.”

Big business for beauty

YouTube is big business for beauty creators, with successful users able to earn up to £600,000 on average every year, if they are successful, according to research from creative community hub DIYS.com.

Billions of hours of content are also watched every day on the site, with some of beauty’s biggest names taking up a proportion of those numbers.

Hailey Bieber, Isamaya Ffrench, Huda Beauty, Jeffree Star are among the big-hitting names creating content for YouTube.

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There is also rarely a cosmetics brand in the industry that does set up a channel to reach a wider audience and create tutorials or ‘how tos’ for their customers.