YouTube announced on Wednesday that the dislike count under its videos will no longer be viewable to the public, leaving only creators able to see the numbers from the back end. The change is geared at curbing hate mobs from mass-disliking a video because they have a problem with the creator rather than the content itself.
Viewers will still be able to dislike videos, but will not see how many dislikes have been given.
In the announcement embedded above, Creator Liaison Matt Koval explained that removing the dislike count shouldn’t change the user experience. Koval cited data showing there isn’t much difference in viewership numbers whether people can see dislikes or not. YouTube tested out removing the dislike button in July.
According to Tech Crunch, a spokesperson for YouTube noted the decision to remove dislikes from the public view was made in an effort to protect creators.
“We are proactively making this change because YouTube has a responsibility to protect creators, especially smaller creators, from harassment and dislike attacks,” they said.
Koval pointed out that most platforms don’t even have a dislike option, possibly referencing social media apps like Twitter and Instagram, so the change shouldn’t drastically change the user experience much.
The YouTube dislike count will gradually start becoming private today.