YouTube’s most disliked videos of all time include classics like Justin Bieber’s Baby, Rebecca Black’s Friday, and the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare reveal trailer–but a new update may take away viewers’ ability to tell how many users disliked any given video. YouTube says it is currently testing the change, which wouldn’t remove the dislike button, but would make the metric visible only to creators.
Only select users are part of the experiment to begin with, with YouTube sharing a screenshot of what the new interface will look like for the testing group. The number of likes would still be displayed under the thumbs up button, while the “dislike” button no longer has a number attached.
👍👎 In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count. If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below!). pic.twitter.com/aemrIcnrbx
— YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021
The gaming side of YouTube is no stranger to the “targeted dislike campaigns” described in the tweet, with the aforementioned mass-disliking of the futuristic Infinite Warfare trailer as one example. On another occasion, gamers organized in order to mass-dislike a Jimmy Kimmel video in which he said that watching other people play games makes no sense.
YouTube’s announcement of the experiment has been generally disliked by the YouTube community, with many replies and quote-retweets on Twitter criticizing the move. Even high profile YouTubers such as Jacksepticeye and RubberNinja have expressed doubts about the change, while other users have pointed out how easily committed dislikers will get around the restrictions.
It’s yet to be seen whether YouTube will roll out this change more broadly across the site. It is currently testing multiple versions of a user interface without dislikes on small groups of users.