YouTube’s decision to hide dislike count on videos is stupid, says co-founder

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Updated: November 16, 2021 5:59 PM

The Alphabet-owned tech company recently announced that it would stop showing dislike counts on its platform to protect creators from targeted attacks and harassment.

Karim was among the co-founders of YouTube and the first person to upload a video on the platform. (File/Reuters)Karim was among the co-founders of YouTube and the first person to upload a video on the platform. (File/Reuters)

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim has called the video streaming platform’s decision to stop showing dislike option “a stupid idea”.

The Alphabet-owned tech company recently announced that it would stop showing dislike counts on its platform to protect creators from targeted attacks and harassment. However, the decision has divided the YouTube community with many users, including some video creators, calling for it to be rolled back.

Now Karim has also added his voice to the naysayers’ group. He updated the description to “Me At The Zoo” — the first-ever video to be uploaded on the platform — in an attempt to show his disapproval.

In the updated description of “Me At The Zoo”, Karim wrote: “When every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is. Try again, YouTube.”

Karim was among the co-founders of YouTube and the first person to upload a video on the platform. Google bought YouTube in 2006.

Karim also left a comment on a video that YouTube shared to announce its move to hide the dislike count.

In the video, YouTube Creator Liaison Matt Koval explained what the move would entail. Koval said while the dislike option allowed creators to know if the video was good, research teams found that viewers’ groups were targeting a creator, mainly because they didn’t like the creator.

Karim wrote in the comment of the video: “Matt doesn’t look excited because he knows it’s the wrong decision.”

Incidentally, the dislike count of Matt Koval’s video was at 139,000 against 14,000 likes.

Critics have often cited the public likes/dislikes count on videos to suggest its harmfulness. Meta Platforms-owned Facebook and Instagram have recently allowed users to remove the option. Once YouTube’s move goes live, creators will no longer be able to see the negative review count even if users click on the dislike button.

YouTube has claimed that the change would protect small creators targeted by dislike attacks, adding that it wanted to promote “respectful interactions between viewers and creators”.

The San Bruno-based company said its research had shown that making the dislike count private resulted in reduced harassment of creators.

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