YouTube has removed ‘dislikes’ from videos – and lots of people dislike it

YouTubers are up in arms because of a major new change to the video sharing platform which has removed the 'dislike' count from YouTube videos.

While the dislike 'button' will remain, the 'dislike' count on a video will now be private, visible only to creators of videos.

YouTube justified the change by saying it was to better protect creators from harassment, and reduce 'dislike attacks'—coordinated group attacks where videos or channels are deliberately bombarded with dislikes in bad faith.

"We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment," the company said in a blog.

Unable to share their annoyance at the update via YouTube for obvious reasons, people took to Twitter to complain that it makes it harder to choose videos.

YouTuber and AI research scientist Lex Fridman said: "I wish YouTube didn't remove the dislike count. This information has been valuable for helping choose between videos on a specific topic. Channels should have the option to keep it. I want mine to have the dislike count. Let the people vote. Just my 2 cents. Maybe I'm wrong."

Meanwhile, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim edited the description of the first ever video on YouTube to complain about the change. He reportedly wrote:

"The ability to easily and quickly identify bad content is an essential feature of a user-generated content platform. Why? Because not all user-generated content is good. It can't be. In fact, most of it is not good. And that's OK. The idea was never that all content is good."

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Karim added: "The idea WAS, however, that among the flood of content, there are great creations waiting to be exposed. And for that to happen, the stuff that's not great has to fall by the side as quickly as possible."

The change comes as social media platforms including YouTube try to tackle misinformation and online harassment or bullying.

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