I like Dislikes

article … I …

If an article has around 1-5% dislikes that indicates it's a good.

Hello guys, it's time to talk about again! My favourite topic. Here's a challenge : could you possibly go several minutes without being yourself? Would that really be so hard? Because you did the thing, the thing that we said was bad and that you shouldn't do because it's bad, and you did it anyway, 'cause that's who you are.

Once again the powers that be have descended from atop their ivory tower. This time it's to bless us with their biggest big brain move since Heroes, and we thought those were the dark times; how little we knew. In their infinite and incomprehensible wisdom, they've decided to start hiding the dislikes on articles. Guy: "So, the update from is that the dislike button is staying, but the dislike counts will now be private. You can still dislike articles and that action will be used to tune your own recommendations, but you won't be able to see the dislike count. Only the creator can find it on the backend, if they want.". CJ: The immediate and inevitable reaction to which was, of course, everyone disliked that. We're all gonna sigh together, alright? 3, 2, 1 *sigh*.

This decision is so baffling in terms of how bad it is and yet so unsurprising considering who it's coming from, that I couldn't not talk about it. And moan about it. Mostly moan about it. It's good- it's good for the system. Because all jokes aside, this really is a terrible change, and I want to talk about why. Dislikes have always been an important and essential feature on this platform. Although less effective than when you'd rate a article out of 5 stars like in the ye olden days, the ratio of likes to dislikes gives a viewer a quick impression of how well-received a article is, which in most cases will roughly correspond to the article's quality. 

If the dislikes are up to about 10% then that might indicate that the article has some issues, or maybe something that was said in the article struck a nerve with a certain group of people. Roughly 30-40% dislikes indicates that the article is a sub-par or controversial one from a creator who usually makes good content. And if the dislike bar looks like a lightsaber you know that article is utter trash that probably shouldn't have been uploaded in the first place.

This is obviously a very rough metric

And it isn't always true, but it gives you a general idea.

There is so much garbage being uploaded to this website every second and viewers only have so much time to waste. So the like-dislike bar is an immediate and effective way to warn a viewer about bad content. And for a site like where all the content is user-generated and moderation is extremely difficult, it's one of the best systems we have for putting down the bad content and allowing the good content to rise to the top, especially since the number of dislikes will affect whether or not a article is recommended in the algorithm.

Just imagine if review sites could only show positive ratings, you'd essentially be tricked into giving bad media more of your time and attention than it deserves, and that is exactly what's gonna happen now on .

Hiding the amount of dislikes is going to encourage trash, clickbait, and articles with reprehensible content, thereby making this platform a worse place. Guy: "Now, this again is about protecting all creators and making sure they have a chance to succeed and feel safe in doing so.". Will Smith: "Is this some kind of sick joke?". Like, regardless of what says, there is no way that this is going to encourage good content. Like, there's no way. Dislikes also empower us as viewers by allowing us to give our feedback in a democratic way, in what is essentially the wisdom of crowds. It's a simple way for us to express our distaste or objection to the content or the creator's intentions. CJ: Remember when the fine brothers tried to trademark reaction content on ? Boom, get disliked.

A trailer for an incredibly unfunny and inflammatory movie or show? Boom, get disliked. Greedy corporations trying to be down with the kids or make an incredibly out of touch political statement? Boom, get disliked. It's the easiest and clearest way for us as an online community to say: "No, we don't want this, get fucked.". Skinner: "Ahh, there's no justice like angry mob justice.". CJ: Dislikes can also make for a fun social experiment, such as neutral response or PewDiePie's "Can this article get the same likes and dislikes", where random unconnected people on the internet would work together to keep things perfectly balanced, as all things should be. Well, can't do that anymore. Thanks . Dislikes have even served an important role in online meme culture.

If it hadn't been possible to dislike Rebecca Black's "Friday", then it wouldn't have become one of the most disliked articles in history, and thus attained its legendary meme status. All that context has been lost now because we can't see the dislikes. Awesome. Arguably the most important reason why dislikes are so essential is because they help protect the viewer from harmful content and scams. Remember when the Verge uploaded a PC build guide that was not only incorrect but also dangerous? Like it was so bad that if you followed their advice you could damage your PC or even hurt yourself? The massive amount of dislikes that article received would serve to tell a viewer who was looking for a PC build guide: "Hmmm, maybe this one isn't exactly kino".

This is editing CJ who just realised that this might not actually be a very good example because the Verge actually disabled likes and comments on this article before they took it down, so Tsk. Yeah, well my point still stands. There are also plenty of "helpful guides" and "tutorials" that'll trick you into deleting some essential system or downloading some malware that'll then fuck up your PC.

Again, a large amount of dislikes can immediately tell a viewer to get the fuck out of Dodge. And that's not even mentioning the "tutorials" that are just useless and waste your time. And so by hiding the amount of dislikes, has put its userbase at greater risk of real-world harm. Good job guys. You- you supposed tech experts.

Well done.

So we've lost an important metric for

Judging the quality of content, we've lost a democratic way to raise objections to bad practices, we've lost an easy way to warn others about scams and harmful content, and we've even lost a fun little tool for online shenanigans.

But why? Why have they done this? When'st the reason? Well, via their blog, Team 's twitter account and a article they released explaining the situation, they've said that it was to disincentivise trolling and harassment through dislike bombing.

Guy: "Apparently groups of viewers are targeting a article's dislike button to drive up the count, turning it into something like a- uh- a game with a visible scoreboard, and it's usually just because they don't like the creator, or what they stand for. That's a big problem when half of 's mission is to give everyone a voice.". CJ: But their explanations make no sense, are incredibly dismissive and condescending, and are just bullshit, really. CJ: I mean just look at this guy's expression. That is the face of a man who knows he's been thrown to the wolves. Guy: "So, earlier in 2021, experimented with making the public dislike count private to see if it would help reduce these coordinated dislike attacks across the platform. And after analysis, they did see a reduction.". Arnold: "No shit.".

CJ: Now harassment campaigns are a real thing and they really suck to be on the end of, especially for small creators. And yes, if you remove the public dislike count there will be fewer dislike bombings. It's just like when they abbreviated the public subscriber counts so you can't get those unsubscribing livestreams that were a thing back in 2019. But this approach is like cutting out the tongues of everyone in school so they can't bully the fat kid. Right, I keep accidentally hitting my keyboard and the image behind me keeps changing, that's really fucking annoying. Now it's in its own folder so it can stay the fuck on screen. Now don't fucking move. Guy: "And it's usually just because they don't like the creator, or what they stand for.".

CJ: The majority of the time a article gets disliked bombed, it's because it warranted it. And we shouldn't lose the ability to do that just because some people abuse it. This is so characteristic of : a certain feature gets abused, they can't figure out a way to fix that, and so they nuke the feature completely. Ripley: "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit." "It's the only way to be sure.". CJ: They got rid of the reply articles function because it got abused by the Reply Girls who would spam their obnoxious clickbait articles all across the website. There's a history lesson for ya. They got rid of community captions which allowed viewers to upload subtitles in their own language and thus broaden the article's reach, because some troglodytes were misusing them to advertise their own shitty channels. They also got rid of annotations which were really useful and could be used to make "choose your own adventure" serieses.

But they had to go to because some people were taking the piss with them. And those are just 3 examples of how tried to fix a problem that just ended up making the website worse. It's definitely a running theme. Basically there was an attempt. In this case, they're claiming that it's to protect creators' mental health. Which makes no sense because we can still see the dislikes on our end in Studio so we still know if a article is being mass disliked? Guy: "Next common question: if creators can still see the dislike count on the backend how's that any different? They can see it if they look for it inside Studio analytics under the engagement tab.

But overall it's much less likely to cause stress and embarrassment if the count isn't visible to the public.". CJ: According to who? Who did you ask? Because it certainly wasn't us, the people that make the content that brings people to your platform in the first place! If they really cared about our mental health they wouldn't have this article performance chart staring us straight in the face when we open Studio.

There's no way to hide this by the way, and if a article is performing in 10th place out of 10, that stings more than any amount of dislikes, let me tell you.

But if they really, really cared they'd

Fix their platform so it doesn't give us so much grief.

CJ: And they'd help us deal with ridiculous copyright claims, and not remove our best performing article from search results for no reason and then fob us off with a bullshit excuse. That one still stings. They're also trying to claim that this was the result of creator feedback, which is also nonsense. Because again, when they announced this the feedback from creators was overwhelmingly negative, a response that they knew was coming, and they knew that this was coming because they tried this back in March! and the response back then was also overwhelming dislike! We told them that this is a terrible idea and we don't want it and that they shouldn't do it, and then they went ahead and did it anyway.

Classic . Skinner: "Am I so out of touch?" "No.

It's the children who are wrong.". CJ: And even when they were first talking about removing dislikes after Rewind 2018 became the most disliked article on the platform, CJ: they knew that dislikes were important and that hiding them would be problematic. Guy: "Another option is just to remove dislikes entirely, from , that's a very extreme option. That one seems like kinda not super democratic, in my opinion, because not all dislikes are dislike mobs, they're just, y'know, people expressing their- their opinion about a article. Maybe a more subtle one is removing the dislike count? I don't know, if you just suppress the dislike count but you show the like count, that one seems I mean, I work on the org that, y'know, advocates for creators but that one seems uh kinda like tilting the scales a little bit.". CJ: And according to Linus of Linus Tech Tips, he was present at meetings with about this issue and the community's concerns were complete ignored. So don't give me this horseshit about "creator feedback", okay? *In a mocking voice* "Oh but we got so much feedback about this from our creators and we need to respect their wishes cause we're trying to make things a better place for them" *In normal voice* Fuck off. They also tried to excuse it by saying that the option that creators already have, which is to remove likes and dislikes entirely, results in the bullying and harassment of those that do so.

Which, I'm sorry, but just like disabling comments, hiding the amount of likes and dislikes just makes it look like you're trying to deny criticism or cover up the fact that your article is bad, and it should make anyone immediately suspicious. And I'm sorry but the feelings of that small number of creators that do have to disable the like and dislike bar because they are getting harassed do not outweigh all the concerns that we've already talked about. Look, I get it, it sucks, but there are much bigger issues at stake here. Unfortunately, disagrees. They even admit that dislikes serve an important function for their users, but then just say that on balance they don't care? Guy: "I've always thought seeing the number of dislikes on a article helps us know as viewers if it's a good article or not; if it's a helpful tutorial or not. or if what a creator is- is saying in their article is generally agreed with, or not. But overall, it's much less likely to cause stress and embarrassment if the count isn't visible to the public.". CJ: So, you've made your platform worse, and more dangerous for it's users, just to protect some people's feelings? I'm sorry, but that's fucking stupid.

I- *sigh*. No y'know what? That can't be true. That explanation cannot be true, because even cannot be that stupid. *Mocking voice* Urr but you can still report the article. *Normal voice* Yeah, because we all know how reliable 's reporting system is. *Mocking* Ah but the like counter will still be visible to give you a feel for the article. *Normal* Yeah, but the people who are most likely to fall for scams aren't usually the most discerning, so they won't know what a good view to like ratio looks like and with no other context, they might think: *Silly voice* "Wow, 3 million people liked this article it must be good.". Guy: "First, without a public dislike count how can viewers tell if a article is worth watching? Again I kinda have this question to, but it turns out that while viewers might use the dislike count to give them a sense of a article's worth, when the teams look at the data across millions of viewers and articles in the experiment, they didn't see a noticeable difference in viewership regardless of whether they could see the dislike count or not.

In other words, it didn't really matter if a article had a lot of dislikes or not, they still watched.". CJ: Right, first of all, source? Gordon Ramsey: "WHERE'S THE SAUCE?". CJ: Because they're trying to discredit the importance of dislikes in order to justify hiding them and, I'm calling bullshit on that.

Second, if a article's dislikes are hidden

That might make some viewers curious as to exactly why they're hidden and that might account for some of those views.

Guy: "So that's the update, I hope

It doesn't cause too much frustration.

Honestly I think you're gonna get used to it pretty quickly and keep in mind other platforms don't even have a dislike button. So, consider that, thank you, and I hope you're well.". CJ: Notice how condescending that was? Can you see why we're annoyed? We have gone well beyond the animated avatar crossing his arms at this point, we have gone right to the source.

Even PornHub is still showing their dislike count. PornHub is now more user friendly than ! Jus- Just let that sink in. And everything they've said about dislikes can also be applied to comments. Are they gonna remove those as well because some commenters are toxic? Can you imagine not even being able to leave a comment on a dangerous or misleading article? Just imagine how fucking dreadful this platform will become if they follow this logic. Just, this is doing my head in. Just doing my head in. This is all assuming that we can take their statements about their motivations at face value. Thing is though, I don't believe for a moment that this has anything to do with helping small creators.

Because not only does it make no sense for them to prioritise the wellbeing of small creators over all other concerns, but they also have a bit of a history of just straight up lying to us. Back in 2016, there was a huge issue with viewers being automatically unsubscribed from their favourite channels without their knowledge. which caused some big names across the platform to bring attention to it. 's response was to flat out deny that there was a problem at all essentially calling us all liars while at the same time lying themselves. Guy: "We've been hearing reports from viewers that they've been unsubscribed from channels that they've been previously subscribed to. What's up with that?". Woman: "We've heard these reports and we take this feedback so seriously. doesn't unsubscribe people from channels.

We never unsubscribe them from your channel. We've actually looked at over 100 individual cases and so far, we haven't been able to find any underlying glitch." *Slowed down* " doesn't unsubscribe people from channels.". Buster: "You really think someone would do that? Just go on the internet and tell lies?". CJ: A response that was so fucking terrible that they deleted the article. THAT feels good, too. That unsubscribing glitch is still a thing, 5 years later. I still get comments and messages about it. This is what I mean when I say "fix your platform".

But yeah, you'll have to excuse me if I'm a bit well, Cynical. Guy: "And one more common question: is this because Rewind got lots of dislikes? No, although there are some teams internally who have learned the hard way what it feels like to get lots of dislikes.". CJ: This is their only claim that I actually believe. Well, sort of. Having your most important showcase of the year become the most disliked article on your platform is pretty embarrassing, let's be honest. And while they did start talking about removing dislikes after this happened, I think that the real motivation for this change is monetary. We've known for a very long time that prioritises its money makers.

Whether that be the largest and most

Profitable creators or the corporations that pay for ads.

Ad revenue is what keeps going, as obnoxious as they can be with it sometimes. Hell they'll punish us for showing a bit of ankle in a article but they'll run ads that are just straight up pornographic? Because money. And it's embarrassing for a corporation to pay a shitload of money to run an ad campaign on , only to then receive a huge amount of negative feedback from the community. That kind of immediate and vocal backlash on that scale is simply something that doesn't happen to ads that run on traditional media. And just bear in mind that is directly competing with traditional media for ad space. will put up with as many dislikes as we can throw at them, as long as they're making money. But if corporations threaten to pull their money unless does something to protect them from embarrassment, then you better believe they'll get off their arses and do something. Just like when they brought in the demonetisation system when corporations boycotted the platform during the "adpocalypse".

Call me a tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist if you want, but I think that that's what happened behind closed doors. Just realised that when they're at that angle you can't fucking see my eyes. If this really was about protecting creators, then they've gone about it in an incredibly incompetent and ham-fisted way, CJ: that does nothing but make the platform worse for all but a few. But having seen 's priorities in the past, I fully believe that dislikes have been hidden in order to protect the feelings and image of paying corporations, thus protecting 's bottom line but at immense cost to the user experience. The people that will benefit by far the most from this change are: big corporations, people that make shitty content, and scam artists, and if they're the ones who benefit the most, then it probably isn't a good idea, is it ? I honestly think that this is one of the worst changes has ever implemented.

It's so bad that one of the original founders of directly responded to it in the description of the first ever article uploaded on the platform, something he'd only done once before when they tried to force Google+ on all of us, and here he is basically saying *in an accent* "Look how they massacred my boy".

It's really quite frustrating as both a viewer and creator of content on this website because I genuinely want this platform to be good, for all of us, but they keep making changes that nobody wants, completely ignoring our advice, and making the platform worse. It's just It's just frustrating, y'know? Because at the end of the day, what can we do about it.

They're not gonna change their mind now and they've got no credible competition. We'll just have to get used to using comments as a new dislike bar I guess. Dislikes are still an important form of feedback for us as creators, so feel free to give this article a dislike if you want, I can take it. And let me know what you think about all this nonsense down in the comments. *sigh* God damn it , can you just- can you just not do this shit, please? Please? Well, at least it can't get any worse I suppose. No I really shouldn't have said that. Guy: *slowed down* "Other platforms don't even have a dislike button." *sad music* Katy Perry: "And they ask you how you are and you just have to say that you're fine, and you're not really fine but you just can't get into it because they would never underst-".