YouTube will try hiding video dislike counts from some users

The company says it's a small experiment that will start in the next few weeks.

Anatoliy Sizov via Getty Images

Over the next few weeks, YouTube plans to test several new interface designs that won’t publicly display how many dislikes a video has earned. In the design the company showed off, the dislike button is still there for people to tap, but it doesn’t have a count that’s updated in real-time. According to YouTube, content creators will still see that information through YouTube Studio.

The company says the test follows feedback from content creators on “well-being and dislike campaigns,” but notes people will still be able to use the dislike button to share feedback as well shape their recommendations.

What to do with the Dislike button is something YouTube has been thinking about since at least 2018. That’s the year its annual Rewind feature became the most disliked video on the platform. One year later, the company floated the idea of trying things like turning off rating counts by default and removing the button altogether to prevent a mob of people from bombing a video. We wouldn’t say this latest experiment spells the end of the dislike button just yet, but YouTube is clearly thinking about how to tackle the problem.