Youtube was launched in 2005 and has since come to be one of the internet’s defining websites. In its 16 years of existing Youtube has gone through a number of notable changes. Youtube’s team has announced one such change recently that’s set to alter the platform forever. Dislikes on a given Youtube video will soon only be visible to the creators of said video.
Youtube announced this upcoming change to the platform on November 10th 2021. Their decision to go forward with this alteration to the platform was coloured by their recently implementing this alteration with a test group of users. Proceeding the test run of the new way the dislike button functions the company voiced its contentment with how it altered how users engaged with content stating:
“Based on what we learned, we’re making the dislike counts private across YouTube,”
The like button and the dislike button on Youtube serve to inform the algorithm what it is people do and don’t want to see. Youtube’s opting to hide the number of dislikes videos receive came as a result of the platform wanting to dissuade users from disliking videos in mass to the ends of causing problems for the video’s creator. What this change to the platform won’t do is take away the ability of users to dislike videos altogether.
This article interests me because I frequently use Youtube and thus have a strong opinion about any alteration to the platform. The opinion I have is that I think this change is both good and bad. This change is good so far as it makes negative sentiment harder to provoke on the platform generally. Meanwhile, I believe this change to be bad for the reason that it could be viewed as a type of censorship.
Erskine, Donovan. “YouTube to Make Dislike Counts Private on All Videos.” Shacknews, Shacknews, 10 Nov. 2021, https://www.shacknews.com/article/127617/youtube-to-make-dislike-counts-private-on-all-videos.
Plunkett, Luke. “YouTube Has Removed the Dislike Counter.” Kotaku, Kotaku, 11 Nov. 2021, https://kotaku.com/youtube-has-removed-the-dislike-counter-1848036246.