YouTube considers hiding dislikes, after White House channel appears to get more dislikes than likes

Due to "targeted dislike campaigns," company will conduct experiment to see on getting rid of publicly visible dislike counts.

Published: March 31, 2021 11:21am

Updated: March 31, 2021 3:00pm

Google-owned YouTube says it is experimenting with ending the publicly displaying of dislike totals on some accounts – in response to "targeted dislike campaigns."

YouTube creators rely on likes and dislikes as feedback, and it also allows viewers to understand the feelings of other audience members. However, the big tech giant now says targeted disliking attacks are to blame for the large spikes on some accounts. 

"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 tweeted Tuesday. "If you're part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks."

Conservative commentator Steven Crowder, the Epoch Times and many others have reported on the seeming disappearance of thousands of dislikes from the Biden White House channel. Others responded to the new change by saying that the visible dislike count helps to determine the worth and trustworthiness of a video.

"You are actually promoting bad content by hiding dislikes. That's what partially keeps people accountable and let's other viewers know if something is worth watching," one Twitter user commented.

The company will conduct a random experiment in which some users will no longer see the dislike button. They are collecting feedback on their website but have not announced if the long-term plan is to completely abolish the dislike option or just limit the option to some accounts.

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