YouTube to remove "dislike" counts

Originally published at: YouTube to remove "dislike" counts | Boing Boing


I’m not sure how that’s much better considering comments are toxic as hell on YouTube.


Yes. Considering that the warning “never read the comments” effectively started in re: YouTube, this move comes way too late. It’s just a response to Facebook frantically making their own small and useless changes in response to being exposed by the whistleblower.


The point is that the “thumbs down” was actually serving three somewhat orthogonal purposes.

  1. Hitting “thumbs down” on a video tells the recommendation algorithm “I don’t like videos like this”
  2. It tells the recommendation algorithm, “hey maybe people don’t like this.”
  3. It tells the content creator “Hey maybe people don’t like this kind of thing”.

The way it was before, purpose 1, and 3. were kind of working against each other. You might feel like “I’m not interested in videos about treating cow hooves” without thinking “this is a shit video and people should stop making videos like this.” in which case you wouldn’t necessarily want to hit the thumbs down but still would rather not be recommended videos about cow hooves. (Real example.) By eliminating the downvote count users can get better recommendations without concern that they are hurting the feelings of the content creators.

My impression is that the comments sections are somewhat better than they used to be. Maybe I’m just watching different kinds of videos now, but I haven’t seen a lot of super toxic comments in the top ten or so comments in a long time.


Thumbs down at least serves a purpose. Even is purposefully down voted based less on content and more on not like the subject/creator, it still told youtube not to serve up said content.

The comments, which I rarely wade into - are often dumpster fires.


I’m not sure that is typically the intent of people using the thumbs down button. YouTube may use it to show you fewer of those videos, but the intent by the viewer, surely, is to say “this is a bad video.”


That’s pretty much what I said. When there is a downvote count, people don’t hit “thumbs down” when their goal is “please, don’t show me any more videos about hooves”, because it reflects negatively on the video. If you take away the downvote count, it means something closer to “I personally find this video unappealing, even though it might not be a bad video.”

By the way, what on earth was with the viral hoof trimming videos?

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We’re all happy about everything all the time.

We have no need to express any other opinion.

Press ‘Like’ if you agree.

Press ‘Like’ if you don’t.


or option 3, go watch videos on tiktok :wink:

I feel like this might make the comments worse. Maybe if your average troll doesn’t get the satisfaction of seeing that little dislike number go up they might take the time to leave a nasty comment on something the otherwise would not have.


You don’t reward trolls. That’s rule #1, you starve them of the attention they want by not giving them something that can recognize that they, for example, organized a downvoting campaign against a minority creator, or a similar bad act.

you want a way for a creator to see downvotes, fine - that’s similar to our “something else” flags here where members can leave a comment for the team, but nothing is gained by giving bad actors knobs they can twist that give them a reward for being bad actors, and that’s what downvote counts allowed them to do.


Regarding the comments, I’ve been using the “herp-derp” plug-in for years and that converts all comments into gibberish.


RIP neutral response


A lot of LGBTQ creators’ videos were often mass-flagged and mass downgoated by absolute dingdongs, while actual bad people’s videos had high upgoat ratios, because it turns out the kind of people who obsess about ratioing other people on YouTube are dedicated to the duchy of dorkdom.


Part of the problem is that YouTube thinks that the result of 1 is a different feature from the dislike button, but it’s very inconsistent in presenting it that way.

When you see a video recommendation you there is a menu where you can pick “Not interested” or “Don’t recommend channel”, but these are nowhere I can find on the video’s page, only where it was recommended. So if you think you won’t like a video you can directly provide feedback to the recommendation system without indicating anything about the quality of the video, but if you have watched even just some of the video it’s hard to indicate that it was not of interest to you without also indicating the video was ‘bad’ in some way.



My experience of YouTube is generally pretty positive, including reading the comment sections. I habitually click the like button if I find the video in any way informative, well put-together or entertaining.

It seems to me that the videos I watch, of the people who care to like/dislike videos there is always about 5% of who choose dislike. I never really give this too much consideration, I just put it down to a small percentage of people being curmudgeonly fucks.

I seldom use the dislike button, but when I do I’m always glad to have that option. And generally if I dislike a video, there will be a larger than usual percentage of dislikes.

I believe the dislike button serves a useful function.


The dislike button in YouTube* is most useful for weeding out bad tech videos. Videos that are poorly presented or misleading tend to get ratio’d, which saves a decent amount of time when searching for tutorials, reviews or instructions. Not sure if that benefit offsets the dislike abuse.

Also, clicking dislike counts as engagement for promotional purposes, so highly disliked videos bubble to the top of recommendations and Google video searches (ugh). Thanks YouTube.

*Yes, autocorrect is doing the casing for YouTube, you think I’m doing that manually?

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It’s interesting to contrast the thumbs on youtube against the ones on netflix. I suspect that the balance between likes and dislikes on netflix is a lot closer and that most netflix users view hitting the thumbs down, not as a value judgment but legitimately as a way to get better recommendations.

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As long as they don’t touch the comments. The YouTube comments section is where I go any time I start to feel hope or faith, to remind myself that humanity is one giant depraved cesspool of horror.