YouTube just announced that, “in response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns”, the site is testing some new designs that “don’t show the public dislike count”.
While this isn’t a definite site-wide change being made for everyone, it shows YouTube is at least considering the move, and is currently testing “a few new designs” — one of which is pictured here — for a small number of users as part of an “experiment”.
???????? 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. If you're part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below!). pic.twitter.com/aemrIcnrbx
— YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021
YouTube’s dislike button, and the very public way its count could be used against a video, is a weird thing! Sometimes it can be a way for fans to let their displeasure at something be known, like a Call of Duty trailer that, at one point, was the second-most disliked video in YouTube history. Other times, though, it can be a way for arseholes to harass creators.
When the site says it’s using “creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns” as the basis for this potential change, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether they’ve been spurred into action by ‘small-time YouTubers being attacked by hateful mobs’ or ‘enormous corporations unhappy with negative PR’.
While the dislike button itself would remain, only the uploader of the video would be able to see the number of times it had been selected by checking the metrics on their YouTube Studio page.