YouTube has taken down the thumbs-down counter on all videos, citing “dislike attacks” that it claims are aimed at tiny channels. According to critics, the official White House channel will reap the most benefits.
“We’re making the dislike counts private across YouTube, but the dislike button is not going away. This change will start gradually rolling out today,” the Google-owned platform announced on Wednesday.
Creators will still be able to see the dislike count in the back-end settings, if they choose to do so. Officially, the move is intended to counter “dislike attacks” and “help better protect our creators from harassment.” Matt Koval, YouTube’s creator liaison, said that people engaged in such coordinated attacks were doing this “because they don’t like the creator or what they stand for.”
Since the change was tested in March, critics have pointed out that its main beneficiary wouldn’t be the small channels, but the White House, whose 1.9 million-subscriber official channel has been consistently dislike-ratioed since the start of the Biden administration.