YouTube is trying to prevent angry mobs from abusing “dislike” button

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

YouTube’s dislike button can be a source of anxiety for many creators, and now YouTube is considering a number of options to prevent viewers from abusing that tool. Tom Leung, director of project management at YouTube, posted an update to the Creator Insider channel recently in which he detailed some “lightly discussed” options for combatting “dislike mobs,” or large groups of users who slam the dislike button on a video before watching the whole thing, or even watching the video at all.

While none of the options Leung details may ever become permanent, YouTube is thinking about experimentation. Currently, like and dislike ratings are shown by default—that’s why anyone can see the number of likes and dislikes a video has by checking out the numbers next to the thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons beneath the video player. However, users can change their settings to make ratings invisible.

One of the new options YouTube has talked about is making those ratings invisible by default, so you wouldn’t be able to see the number of likes or dislikes a video has. Other options include asking users to provide more information about why they disliked a video (possibly in the form of a checklist), removing the dislike count across the board, and removing the dislike button entirely.

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