YouTube wants to stop displaying dislikes under videos with immediate effect. In doing so, the video platform wants to protect creators from online bullying.

YouTube hides dislikes from now on

“If you liked this video, leave me a thumbs up!” Anyone who watches YouTube videos knows this prompt from influencers all too well. After all, “likes” (i.e., thumbs up) mean that a video is well received by its audience.

But in fact, there is also the option of giving videos a thumbs down. Until now. Because as of now, YouTube no longer wants to display the dislikes publicly.

In a blog post, YouTube explained that it wanted to take action against online bullying. In fact, there are targeted hate campaigns with the goal of psychologically destroying a person through a particularly large number of dislikes under a video. This is particularly common on smaller channels.

As of now, this should no longer be possible. YouTube wants to hide these dislikes. Hiding the thumbs down has now already been started with individual influencers and is to be gradually rolled out across the entire platform.

YouTube dislikes will not disappear completely

However, the function itself will not disappear completely. Viewers will still be able to rate a video negatively and influencers will still be able to see their dislikes, but only as a private view below the engagement numbers. Outsiders can therefore no longer see how many dislikes a video has on YouTube.

This is precisely what YouTube says has significantly reduced online bullying in an experiment. Because when Dislike hate campaigns are no longer visible, they apparently lose their appeal for many haters. “Because the Dislike count was not visible, we found that there was a decrease in Dislike attack behavior,” YouTube says.

It said it was aware that not all users would approve of the new feature. Because, in fact, some viewers are using the Dislike option to mark which videos they don’t want to watch. Nevertheless, the company believes it is important to protect creators from bullying and hate campaigns.

YouTube users criticize decision

However, many YouTube users criticize the new function. In fact, dislikes are a good indicator for spam videos, misinformation or simply bad content. This made it possible for smaller channels in particular to stand out from larger channels (with many dislikes) with high-quality videos.

Some users also feel disenfranchised. After all, YouTube practically no longer allows them to honestly rate videos. Others point out that hiding dislikes on YouTube could now lead to hate being reflected in the comments.

YouTube, by the way, is not the only social media platform that wants to protect its users with hidden likes and dislikes. Instagram has also allowed its influencers to hide likes for some time. Here, however, they also have the option of making their likes visible again.