YouTube has announced it will make dislikes videos on its platform accumulate, private, rolling out the change gradually “from today,” according to its official blog. The video-sharing platform has made a move to protect small creators from harassment and dislike attacks.
While users will still be able to like a dislike a video, the dislikes received by a video will be visible only to the creator. According to YouTube, creators will still be able to access their dislike counts in YouTube Studio, as well as in other existing metrics.
Moreover, users will be able to dislike videos to narrow down recommendations and share feedback with creators privately.
The video-sharing platform said the move is aimed at creating “an inclusive and respectful environment” for creators to have the opportunity to express themselves and succeed safely.
The move follows an experiment by YouTube earlier this year, where it monitored if removing the dislike count led to a reduction in creator harassment.
While the company has not shared specific data from the experiments, it conducted months to monitor how this change would affect users and creators.
In its statement, YouTube said experiments confirmed reports from smaller creators targeted more in dislike attacks.
Earlier, the company had said public dislike counts could lead to targeted campaigns to add dislikes to content, impacting the well-being of creators. While the count often signals when a video is spam, misleading, or clickbait, the company said its experiments showed a reduction in users’ dislike of attacking behavior.
While many users might disagree with the latest change, the company said that it was the “right thing” for the platform to do. YouTube added that this was one of the many steps it would take to protect creators from harassment. It also mentioned that the company would continue to invest in the process of making creators feel safe.