YouTube hides public dislike counts to prevent public shaming

Image via The Verge

YouTube has announced to gradually make the dislike counts private across YouTube. The company stated the change is to ensure respectful interactions between viewers and creators. Moreover, they said, “Creators will still be able to find their exact dislike counts in YouTube Studio, along with other existing metrics, if they would like to understand how their content is performing.” The dislike button also serves to tune viewers’ recommendations.

“We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves.”

YouTube Official Blog

YouTube explained their decision with the results of experiments with the dislike button earlier this year. As part of these experiments, viewers could still dislike videos, but the count was not visible to them. Therefore, viewers were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count.

Furthermore, the experiment showed that smaller channels are more often targeted by dislike attacking or harassment. Therefore, with YouTube’s decision to hide the dislike counts, they want to support smaller creators in particular.

It is questionable if dislike counts going private are really going to protect creators from harassment in social media. Moreover, some users criticize that not being able to see public dislikes could lead to more users watching videos that include misinformation or hidden ads.


Youtube’s Removing The Dislike Counter From Videos, Luke Plunkett

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,

Plunkett, Luke. “YouTube Has Removed the Dislike Counter.” Kotaku, Kotaku, 11 Nov. 2021,

‘Why Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson Is Accused of Being a Culture Vulture’

In December 2020, Jesy left the group in pursuit of her solo career. Since then she’s been pushing her career as a solo artist. Unfortunately, people are paying much more attention to recent allegations rather than her music. The discussion of her “culture vulture” behavior has been a continuous one as ‘Little Mix’s style evolved. Jesy’s white British identity gives insight to why people were upset at her use of “artistic expression”.

On occasion Jesy is seen wearing grills on her teeth, oversized clothing, colorful wigs, etc. Not to mention, there is a clear difference in skin tone compared to when Nelson first joined ‘Little Mix’ to now.

Recently, rapper Nicki Minaj collaborated on a song with Jesy called ‘Boyz’.  In this music video Jesy is seen wearing oversized jewelry, hair accessories, hair scarves, oversized clothes and timberland boots. Which is typically associated with Black culture. Black artists and black people created this style of fashion and are almost never credited for it.

‘Boyz’ ft. Nicki Minaj is an adaptation of P. Diddy’s ‘Bad Boy For Life’ single in 2001.

But what doesn’t sit right with a few Little Mix members and fans is the slow changing of skin color, to seem more “exotic” looking. These aspects about the music industry are problematic because artist of color who identify and showcase their identity aren’t embraced the same way. They are dismissed as “over the top”, “ghetto”, or ignored as a whole. While artist like Jesy are embraced and celebrated for it.

Hoop earrings, exotic looking nails, Timberland boots, and colorful wigs go deeper than video shoots. There’s a historical pattern of Black people and people of color being robbed of their culture, while other races are able to capitalize from it. Nicki Minaj openly defended Jesy against ‘Little Mix’ member Leigh-Anne Pinnock for accusing Jesy of “Blackfishing”. Which surprised many fans as this is a tactic white artists use to appeal to the “urban” audience. Leigh-Anne Pinnock, who identifies as African-Caribbean, expressed her frustration over her experience with Jesy in the group. She witnessed different variations of her culture appropriating behavior and in opposition of this, she spoke out publicly.

YouTube to End Rewind After 11 Years

YouTube announced that they will be ending their annual Rewind videos after years of criticism and backlash.

YouTube Rewind, started in 2010, is a yearly recap video of all of the site’s trends, popular, and music, featuring top creators on the site. The videos have become some of the most viewed (and disliked) videos on the platform. They are a yearly tradition and a staple within the YouTube community.

The company decided not to release a Rewind for 2020, stating that “But 2020 has been different. And it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t.”

YouTube’s 2020 Rewind cancellation tweet.

Pandemic concerns, as valid as they are, seem to be an excuse to cancel the series, as the Rewind videos have consistently received some of the harshest criticism on the site.

2018’s Rewind became the most disliked video on the platform and holds that title today. Many felt as if the video was pandering towards advertisers rather than featuring the community of users and top creators.

Anxious to avoid the same hate from the previous year, YouTube made 2019’s Rewind as simple and non-controversial as possible by simply making a compilation of the top videos of the year, throwing out all the bells and whistles of the normal Rewind. The change still managed to bring on heavy criticism from users.

Though this is the end of the Rewind series, the site still plans to release yearly recaps in a different format. The stated on Twitter that they plan to “refocus our energies on celebrating you and the trends that make YouTube [fire emoji] with a different and updated kind of experience – stay tuned.”

There are no further details on what this new Rewind experience will be just yet, but YouTube plans to turn to creators to fill in the blanks. Whatever the company decides to do, it would be in their best interest to try and avoid controversy.

Youtube Terminates Anti-vaccine Accounts and Content

Photo Via NBC News

Youtube is cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and has announced a total ban on content falsely claiming that the vaccine is harmful or ineffective. Youtube has terminated the accounts of several prominent anti-vaccine influencers, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola who have contributed to skepticism surrounding the vaccine and slowed vaccination rates in the United States. Since the ban, over 133,000 videos featuring coronavirus misinformation have been removed from the platform.

Youtube had existing policies on COVID-19 misinformation but this new ban had broadened its enforcement against content claiming the vaccine is dangerous or that vaccines are a cause of autism. The company announced, “We’re now at a point where it’s more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines.”

Anti-vaccine advocates have been using platforms like Youtube and Facebook for over a decade. In the past both platforms haven been reluctant to censor content arguing it challenges users’ rights to free speech. Matt Halprin, YouTube’s vice president of global trust and safety stated, “Developing robust policies takes time. We wanted to launch a policy that is comprehensive, enforceable with consistency and adequately addresses the challenge.”

YouTube launches first podcast “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy”

Image via YouTube

YouTube announced the launch of their very first podcast “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy”. Partnering up with National Public Media, YouTube offers a look behind the scenes of the so-called “Creators Economy”, a term to describe the growing numbers of creators who monetize their on-platform effort.

“We wanted to showcase the magic of the creator economy in an entirely new way, by taking people behind the scenes to learn what goes into the businesses of the creators whose videos they watch every day.”

– YouTube

This podcast is another way for YouTube to support creators in becoming businesses, which therefore keeps them posting on YouTube regularly. The 5-part-series will be hosted by Britanny Luse, an award-winning journalist, and co-host of For Colored Nerds podcast. In an introduction video, Luse asks her potential future audience: “How much do you really know about how YouTube works? Like how do creators go from uploading a video to running an actual business? What does it take to go from recording in your living room to scaling, hiring a team, and turning your passion into a full-time career?” She will discuss all these questions with her guests, including popular YouTubers like Lilly Singh,  Caleb Marshall (The Fitness Marshall), Emmy Cho (emmymade), Leah Bolden (See Jane Drill), the Lau Family (Made with Lau), and rap artist DDG (DDG). 

New episodes of “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy” will be released every Wednesday, starting on September 22nd. The podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcasts, and more.

Because of YouTube’s pioneering role and enormous influence on other digital media businesses, its’ first podcast is a piece of interesting news. As I want to work in a media company someday, it might be interesting to get some background information on how this giant media business works and how creators can be successful in it.

YouTube’s first podcast is also a reaction to the growing significance of music streaming. In the last year, YouTube reported that YouTube Music itself has more than 77 million subscribers and that music video streaming is at an all-time high. The success of this new audio-offer might influence whether YouTube will dive deeper into the podcast business.

Food Network Picks Up ‘No Recipe Road Trip With the Try Guys’ as a Series

(Image from The Try Guys /

Last week, Variety announced in an exclusive article that Discovery’s Food Network had picked up “No Recipe Road Trip With the Try Guys” for an additional five-episode order. An initial one-episode special was agreed upon back in February but has been expanded upon in this new agreement. The initial special and these five additional episodes will air as Season 1 with no official release date yet, but will most likely air on both the Food Network channel and the Discovery+ streaming service.

The show will follow The Try Guys, Zach Kornfeld, Keith Habersberger, Eugene Lee Yang, and Ned Fulmer, as these best friends and content creators travel across the U.S., taste new foods, and try to recreate them, modeling their popular youtube series, “Without a Recipe”. 

The Try Guys are a Youtube group that gained popularity at Buzzfeed in the mid-2010s, when the group of four co-workers began to create videos together, trying new things, for the internet media outlet. With a social media following of more than 13 million followers across social media platforms and racking up over 3 billion video views, the quartet decided to leave the company in June 2018 to start their own production company, 2nd Try

This deal between the traditional medium of television to feature an idea from a group that’s fame originally came from the Internet is a great example of media convergence. Fans of The Try Guys, who normally watch the creators on Youtube, now have the chance to watch the group on cable television. While this deal is exciting for the smaller production company, it also shows that larger, more established, traditional companies need help appealing to a younger audience and are partnering with several influencers who have come to fame through the Internet.

Spangler, Todd. “The Try Guys ‘NO Recipe Road Trip’ Picked up to Series at Food NETWORK (EXCLUSIVE).” Variety, Variety, 9 Sept. 2021,

New Social Media Restrictions for Children: Britain’s attempt to pave the way for a safer internet

kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.)

This past Thursday Britain introduced a set of regulations designed to protect children online. Overnight platforms the likes of TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube have responded by doing just that threatened by the possibility of having to pay multimillion-dollar fines. Rather than applying the new mandatory “age-appropriate design code” specifically to the UK, the aforementioned social media platforms have opted to change internationally to meet this new standard. This meaningful change to the online landscape as brought on by the mid-sized country of Britain potentially signals a positive change for the global internet. This, in the way that it implies that the tech industry is no longer all but exempt from broader regulation. oddly enough this major online regulatory step was met with little attention despite the UK’s stated goal of becoming the “safest place in the world to be online”. The code in question was introduced as an amendment to the data protection act 2018, a technical piece of legislation intended mostly to implement GDPR into UK law. The code in question applies to all online services that are used by children and require that said services at least identify younger users and treat them with care. The code prohibits several predatory practices including. One, “nudge” techniques that encourage children to divulge more of their private information than is necessary. Two, anything considered to be more than the minimization of data harvesting from children. And Three, giving anything less than the maximum amount of security for children’s accounts. Where adamant lobbying opposing these regulations was expected the world’s largest companies have instead made substantial changes and, what’s more, insisted that they wanted to make this manner of change to their platforms all along. Whatever the next step is is controlled by the Information Commissioner’s Office or “ICO” as this party controls when and whether to enforce fines for breaches of this regulation. A major factor that is still up in the air is whether or not children will accept their being treated differently online or if they’ll just use their tech-savvy to skirt around regulation. Regardless of what it is children decide to do it is pivotal that the internet is acknowledged as curating the experience of childhood as we move further into the digital age.

This article interests me for the reason that it pertains to what I perceive to be positive broader internet regulation. This is because such change is rarely if ever properly enforced or implemented at all despite its growing importance. This article also interests me because of the broader implications of the implementation of software that is restrictive to children in an age where children are increasingly tech-savvy. This is to say that I think it’ll be interesting to see how children react to being given the power to restrict their own activity on the internet with the context that it’s “for their own good”.

Hern, Alex. “Social Media Giants Increase Global Child Safety after UK Regulations Introduced.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 Sept. 2021,

Unprecedented Popular YouTube Video Topics

YouTube has been a hub for prank and cat videos, but now since the pandemic even more odd videos have come up to surface. A couple months ago, the popularity of these videos would have made no sense, but because of the pandemic these videos are being watched worldwide.

Tutorials on making fabric face masks and “pandemic makeup” have been buzzing on YouTube recently. On a more serious note, videos that touch upon the dangers of online education have also became popular.

YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki mentions how the YouTube company would have never seen these videos coming. Tutorials such as hand-washing have become popular. Information on really basic information has become popular on YouTube.

YouTube users are also seeking other people’s lives under quarantine as a form of entertainment. People are interested in what exercising, doing dishes, fixing appliances, and giving haircuts are like in quarantine. These are all unprecedented popular videos people are viewing.

YouTube views has skyrocketed since the stay at home order. In the first week of April, there were 32 billion minutes being watched within a week. Compared to last years, 15 billion minutes, that is a lot.

With more viewers comes more concerns. YouTube has been working on giving out the right information about the Coronavirus. YouTube has been working with the World Health Organization to keep the information as accurate as possible. New claims can now be flagged on YouTube videos such as “medically unsubstantiated” claims. Videos that would get flagged as such are videos that claim there is a miracle cure to the Coronavirus. Videos that contradict WHO’s recommendations are also being flagged as misinformation.

YouTube now offers a section of their homepage dedicated towards Coronavirus news. In this section one can be updated on current status as well as extra tips into keeping safe away from the virus.

Ofcom and Protecting UK Content

Ofcom, a British media regulator has been appointed by the government to legally regulate harmful content over media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration has targeted content such as child-abuse, terrorism, and self-harm as key areas to be regulated. Especially in a time when media usage has skyrocketed, media content needs to be scrutinized on all platforms.

Last year, the British government thought to create a branch of the government to directly enforce content regulations. Instead, the government has decided to fund Ofcom to protect the internet from harmful content. They even held a conference with over 2,400 companies to see which company would be the best fit for the job.

According to the British government, Ofcom will have the power to give out fines, warnings, and block off internet service providers. Ofcom can also make the senior management of social media companies responsible. The government also has to make sure that the enforcement powers are to be used fairly.

There have been critics of this new proposal, because content creators are concerned this could backfire. Ofcom could use their powers to censor too much content, restricting freedom of speech and free content creation. In response to this, the government ensured it would use this power only to censor malicious and harmful content. They ensured their will be a code of violation that will be strictly enforced, but not to overdue their own powers.

The idea of content restrictions are welcomed all over the World. Giant tech companies such as Facebook welcome the idea of the government intervening to provide safe web browsing. However, other companies such as IBM, Google, and Microsoft suggest using artificial intelligence to weed out harmful content.