How to Better Solve YouTube’s “Dislike Count” Problem

The controversy over the recently announced decision by YouTube to remove publicly viewable “Dislike” counts from all videos is continuing to grow. Many YT creators feel that the loss of a publicly viewable Like/Dislike ratio will be a serious detriment. I know that I consider that ratio useful.

There are some good arguments by Google/YouTube for this action, particularly relating to harassment campaigns targeting the Dislikes on specific videos. However, I believe that YouTube has gone too far in this instance, when a more nuanced approach would be preferable.

In particular, my view is that it is reasonable to remove the publicly viewable Dislike counts from videos by default, but that creators should be provided with an option to re-enable those counts on their specific videos (or on all of their videos) if they wish to do so.

With YouTube removing the counts by default, YouTube creators who are not aware of these issues will be automatically protected. But creators who feel that showing Dislike counts is good for them could opt to display them. Win-win!


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