YouTube is testing hiding dislike counts to stop 'targeted campaigns' against creators and protect their well-being

YouTubeThiago PrudĂȘncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • YouTube is experimenting with removing public “dislike” counts on some videos.
  • The aim is to protect creator well-being by heading off “targeted dislike campaigns.”
  • The company called it a “small experiment” and did not say how many creators were involved.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

YouTube is testing hiding “dislike” counts on videos as a way of stopping users from ganging up on creators.

“In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count,” YouTube said in a statement.

It said some creators would see the design change over the next few weeks as part of “this small experiment.”

-YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021

The change is targeted at preventing a phenomenon known as “dislike mobs,” when an online group deliberately target a video with dislikes en masse.

In 2019, YouTube’s then-director of product management Tom Leung said options for preventing dislike mobs were being “lightly discussed” inside the company.

Creators will still be able to see how many dislikes they’ve had on a video by using in-house analytics.

YouTube did not say how how many creators would be trialling its new design, and did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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