What is a like-dislike button? They are described often as a tool present in communication software. Here the end-user can express their feeling towards the content available in the specific platform. What is the current status of the dislike button? In a Twitter post, YouTube and the crew revealed that they are exploring and playing with a lot of unique design methods and that the dislike counter on videos would be hidden from the public. It has been done in response to the creator’s feedback to combat harassment.
Does hiding the dislike button matter? In recent years there has been a rise in the number of targeted dislike campaigns against some creators. The angry dislike mobs deliberately downvote the videos to harass the creators. The dislike counts can impact their well-being.
In recent years there have been several occasions where we saw a sudden urgency on the user’s side. It was due to an increase in the dislike count. Notably, the worst affected by the dislike of the mob was YouTube itself. Their 2018 YouTube rewind is currently the most disliked video on YouTube. The viewers often dislike the content without even watching the video just because they hate the creator. The most recent example of this is the increase in the wave of dislike mob against the Bollywood celebrities after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput citing nepotism. The other notable examples in this field are a kid song Baby Shark, Justin Bieber’s baby, and many others.
The question here is that how badly the dislike button can affect the creators? Here we have to understand it is not only the mental well-being that is hampered. But it also affects the growth of rising content creators in the platform. It is done due to halting their reach to the new audience. The more the number of dislikes, the lesser will be the video on the recommendation page of the user.
One can understand it better by the way recommendation works on the YouTube platform. In general, recommended videos are those that this software thinks you are interested in based on your watch and search history. Further, the videos are ranked up based on their preferences and viewing history. The like-dislike button plays an important role here. The higher the dislike button, the lesser it will be on the recommendation page. It in many ways affects the rising as well as well-established content creators.
What was under the experiment? Notably, the current experiment started in March. Under this test, the like and dislike button was available for the viewer to use, but they were unable to use the dislike count. Although the dislike count is hidden for the viewers, the creator can still see it with the help of YouTube studio. It will help the creators to analyze whether their content is performing well or not. Users who were part of the experiment were open to providing feedback related to the new design.
The prime question that arises in the head is, was the experiment successful? The Google-owned platform made various decisions based on the feedback of the experimental test. Hiding the dislike count significantly reduced the urgency from the side of the user to drive up the dislike count. In short, this helped in reducing the dislike count. The experiment further cemented the YouTube earlier statement that the smaller creators are mostly likable to face the wrath of angry dislike mob.
The decision made a mix of Reactions from the users of the platform across the globe. While, most of them welcomed it, hoping that this would lead to a decrease in the harassment of the creators. Some others are wary that it might lead to the increment of fake scam videos. It can further result in the situation where most people will start believing in scams due to the absence of the dislike buttons, as now they will not know about the ratio between the like and dislike buttons. Many people are of the view that YouTube is taking down the power of the viewers to shoot down the video which deserved it.
Youtube’s official response was that they wanted to create an inclusive and respectful environment where the creators can feel safe to express themselves and succeed. It is only one of the many steps that have been taken for the inclusive growth of the platform. Only time will decide how well the experiment will succeed.