Steering the Narrative: YouTube to Hide Dislike Count from Viewers

Nick Kangadis | November 12, 2021
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Who ever accused Big Tech of trying to steer narratives? Oh..a lot people, huh? I guess that’s what happens when you constantly label news as “misinformation” or “disinformation” and censor those that don't fall in line with establishment agendas — people tend not to trust your motives. And the latest move by a Big Tech entity is just another example of Big Tech steering away from the skid.

In an effort to mask what users deem unpopular on their platform, YouTube has decided to hide the dislike count on all videos, unless you’re the person who posted the video.

According to a blog post by “The YouTube Team” on YouTube, this was the result of the test they conducted to determine if they should go ahead with the new edict:

And earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks — where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.

As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior. We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behavior — and our experiment confirmed that this does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels.

That’s cute. YouTube claiming to try and protect smaller creators, when most of us who frequent the platform know that the establishment media and current White House YouTube channels routinely get exponentially more dislikes on their videos than most others.

Here are some examples of the ratios that more than likely contributed to this decision (Note: numbers are as of this writing):

President Biden on Supply Chains and the Holidays (White House channel) - 531 likes, 5,900+ dislikes

Gaige Grosskreutz gives 1st interview since testifying in Rittenhouse trial (Good Morning America channel) - 320 likes, 19,000+ dislikes

Joy Reid: Glenn Youngkin Campaign Coded Racial Hysteria In ‘Critical Race Theory’ Hype (MSNBC channel) - 390 likes, 4,300+ dislikes

CNN commentator: Judge appears to be looking for next gig on Fox News (CNN channel) - 2,200+ likes, 4,800+ dislikes

You get the idea. There are countless more examples of users disliking establishment media and establishment politician content.

YouTube does note that the dislike button will still be on every video, but only the creator and publisher of the videos will be able to see the count. The platform even admitted that they know this decision won't be popular with people.

"We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform," the blog stated.