Don’t expect YouTube to reverse its decision to hide the dislike count. The video platform’s CEO defended the change on Tuesday, dismissing the dislike count’s utility.
“Some of you mention dislikes help you decide what to watch,” said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. “But dislikes were never shown to people on the homepage, search results, up next screen, where users were most likely to choose a video.”
While discussing the platform’s priorities for 2022, Wojcicki made the statement. She acknowledged that the decision to hide dislike counts on videos in November was “controversial,” but she argued that it was the right move, citing the need to combat online harassment.
YouTube went on to say that it had heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started and that many of them felt unfairly targeted by efforts to increase dislikes. According to the company, creators will still be able to see their exact dislike counts, as well as other metrics, in the future, which could help them figure out how well their content is performing and how to improve it.
Furthermore, Wojcicki stated that the dislike count was not the best indicator of a video’s quality. “People dislike videos for many reasons, including some that have nothing to do with the video, which means it’s not always an accurate way to select videos to watch,” she wrote in a related blog post.
If you absolutely must have the dislike count, a third-party developer has created a browser extension that will allow you to re-add the feature to your YouTube videos. The extension’s data comes from Google’s archived dislike statistics as well as other users who have installed the extension. The dislike counts on a video are otherwise only visible to the video’s creator.