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Thumbs down? YouTube will hide the dislike ratio so you can’t see it

The popular online video platform will make the number of dislikes private only to the content creator, in a change intended to stop targeted harassment. 

For many of us, the first thing we do when clicking on a YouTube video is to give a quick glance to the dislike bar to judge whether or not it’s actually worth three minutes or so of your valuable time. However, that will soon no longer be possible due to a change that will shortly be rolled out across the platform.

While the dislike button will continue to exist, and your input will be taken into account when recommending other videos to watch on your account, the actual bar displaying the proportion of likes and dislikes will be hidden from your view when you watch a YouTube video. This is mainly intended to stop the phenomenon of ‘brigading’, when thousands of people dislike a video deliberately to sabotage it due to enmity against the creator rather than disapproval of the content itself. Incidentally, the author of the video will still be able to see the amount of dislikes for each of their videos if they search for it in the analytics.

The platform explained its thought process in the brief clip below:

As you may have noticed if you followed the video link through to YouTube, the dislike ratio is about as lopsided as an elephant on a seesaw, with users seemingly unhappy about the change in general.

While the spokesperson deals with anticipated complaints about the new approach, and its understandable that the company wishes to reduce targeted harassment on social media, it does seem to remove a useful tool for judging the quality of a video by its audience reception. The change will soon be rolled out globally, though there seems not to be an official timetable for the update at this stage.

What do you think about the change? Let us know what you think in the poll below — and unlike on YouTube, we won’t hide the results.

 

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