The dislike counter is about to disappear from your most hated YouTube videos, but the dislike button isn’t going away. YouTube revealed the change in a blog post on Wednesday, which gave some additional context as to why the company will remove the dislike counter on all its videos.
While the dislike counter — which, as the name suggests, counts how many times people have disliked a YouTube video — has its uses, YouTube researchers discovered that many users tend to bombard a single video in a kind of review-bomb-like tactic. This tanks the video not because of its content, but because people don’t like the creator themselves, or some other wayward reason. Call of Duty fans used this exact tactic to rocket the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailer into the “most disliked video” back in 2016 — although it was quickly dethroned.
In an effort to discourage mass disliking and help all creators thrive — be they giant corporate machines like Activision, or individual channels — the dislike counter will now be private.
YouTube actually experimented with the removal of the dislike counter earlier this year, and the evidence it found in the process led to its decision to remove the counter on every video. Although users won’t be able to check a video’s quality at a glance quite as easily, YouTube seems more concerned about the mental distress and discouragement that mass dislikes can cause.
Users will still be able to dislike a video to curate their YouTube recommendations, and content creators can check how many dislikes their videos have gotten for research purposes.
YouTube has already started rolling this change out, and it will gradually take over the entire site.