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YouTube removes the dislike counter

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"Removing dislikes was the dumbest idea since 2006"
Jawed Karim[1]

On November 10, 2021, YouTube uploaded a video titled "Update to YouTube’s Dislike Count" and changed YouTube to have the dislike count hidden, which gained backlash and sparked a big controversy.[2]

Why It Was Put into Place

Contrary to popular belief, YouTube did not remove dislikes because of YouTube Rewind 2018. Instead it was removed due to the fact that groups of viewers are targeting the dislike button of an innocent viewer and making it a game all because they “dislike” the creator, and are giving heavy ratios for poor reasons, whether it be political or trolling.

Why This Update Was the Dumbest Idea Since 2006

  1. To get straight to the point, as if the heavy censorship in the comment section wasn’t bad enough, now you are no longer able to see the number of dislikes someone has under a video regardless of whether the user deserves it or not. Not only does that defeat the purpose of having a dislike button in the first place, but also a major victory for spam and scam channels since they no longer have to hide both ratings in order to get what they want from random people. This is a very dangerous move (see backlash) because some scams can be hazardous and deadly.
  2. It discourages people from criticizing a video. Because of disabling dislikes publicly, there is no point in disliking the video especially if the creator won't listen to criticism. If nobody else can see dislikes, it's not worth doing it. Moreover, this lack of interaction would not help with channel improvement.
  3. It basically shows that YouTube themselves can't handle a single bit of criticism and are very immature and sensitive. They were so unclear about it that it looked as if they were removing this feature entirely, causing users to think that YouTube themselves cannot handle the criticism for things like their YouTube Rewind 2018 video. They also have an excuse to compete with other social media sites (like Twitter) because they don’t have dislike counters.
  4. It was already a pain when YouTube got rid of dislikes in the comments back in 2013 (and the fact that you can't see them in shorts or posts), but going to the lengths of removing it entirely makes no sense whatsoever. The only way to know if someone dislikes a video now is by going to the comment section and out-rationing the video by agreeing with the comments that say things like, "Use me as a dislike button," and "Like this comment if you dislike this video."
    • Anything related to the dislike counter was removed from the YouTube API. There isn't any other way to calculate dislikes other than taking the view count and subtracting the like count, which would give a very loose estimate.
  5. Despite what the site thinks, dislikes are not used only to attack and slam on the creator, but they can actually be helpful on what the user should do to improve their content. The excuse "to cause less embarrassment and stress" and protecting smaller creators isn't very justifiable enough. There shouldn't be harm in hiding the content creator's dislikes and would probably do more bad as it would lessen the effect of providing constructive feedback. A huge dislike count can generate curiosity over a massively positive one and it could potentially shape the creator to change their content. While dislike bombing is a partial reason, it feels more like a scapegoat to uphold the hiding of dislikes.
  6. This update was so bad that even the guy in the video, and Jawed of all people, one of the three co-founders of YouTube, known for uploading the first ever video on the site, "Me at the Zoo" was not in favor of it. The latter even referred to it as "the dumbest idea since 2006" in which he even edited the description of his video to reflect his opinion.[1]
  7. How can you inform channels they are doing something wrong if they’re a very controversial channel? The discussion tab was removed back in September, obviously, you can’t dislike it because there is no point anymore, and the comments might even be turned off (usually due to COPPA policies).
  8. Furthermore, dislikes were what make YouTube videos, specifically ones with debatable content interesting. Unlike sites like Twitter, the dislikes let you see what side is more favorable and what side is not, and seeing the like to dislike ratio is high on both sides is a sign of engagement with the content. Hiding this causes them to show a perceived bias on one side which then the likes can be deceptive and creates a less interactive experience with the viewer and the creator.
  9. You were already able to change the likes and dislikes prior to this update on your own which once again proves how pointless this update is.
    • Also, the user can still see the number of dislikes their video got in YouTube Studio. What's worse is that it's front and center when you click on the video tab.
    • Furthermore, people can post a comment which can say whether they like or dislike it. The like and dislike counters provide a convenient way and it’s already inconvenient enough to let people comment on why they dislike that video since on some videos, comments are disabled.
  10. Overall, this rotten update sped up YouTube's decline in quality, to the point where the website itself is not considered average anymore by most people.
  11. The update will prevent overwhelming dislikes of content from people who are political-extremists, internet trolls, big-names, and even pedophiles. Yes, that presumably means YouTube removed dislikes just to prevent dislikes on their content. Like in (WTUWTDIS2 #1), this is also a dangerous move as well.
  12. Wojcicki has even defended the removal despite the controversy, and claimed that it 'prevents harmful attacks' which is very inexcusable. Not to mention that all of the videos on her channel have more dislikes than likes, making it look like she's doing it to defend herself.[3]
  13. After December, most extensions (which were never updated) were broken thanks to the update to the YouTube API, which either removed or private the dislike counter.[4] Most extensions were later updated and now show estimates (or the latest dislike count data from the YouTube API prior to the removal/private), but most of them are inaccurate (unless all users who installed the extensions disliked the video).
    • While you can request to view the dislike data, you cannot publicly show it to users.
  14. To make matters worse, there is an option that disables the ratings of someone's video making this decision even more stupid and pointless.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. If they are in fact a new channel, and their videos get a lot of dislikes, they can be a little hurt from that. That could result in bullying and the channel quitting. Without dislikes, they don’t have to worry about it. Although this wouldn’t really be that much of a redeeming quality anyway since the user can just turn them off by themselves.
  2. Despite it being the majority win for the media, that's not only a big payback for the fans as they celebrated because the videos of their favorite shows, movies and YouTubers have zero dislikes, but also karma for the haters of good and innocent YouTubers:
    1. The Snyder Cut trailer on HBO Max's YouTube channel now has zero dislikes, meaning there is still a chance to make into the Snyderverse.
    2. It's kind of respectful to everyone's wedding such as PewDiePie's wedding video, "Marzia & Felix - Wedding 19.08.2019".
    3. After a massive backlash by the haters of theEricButts because of his reaction video of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 2 years ago, it gained karma when YouTube disabled the dislikes to avoid the bullying.
  3. Prior to the December update to the YouTube API, most of the extensions more accurately counted the dislikes.


The video received overwhelmingly negative reception due to how poorly thought out this was. A user on PewDiePie's video on the subject said he almost died watching an awful knot tutorial years ago, and he never checked the ratings until it was over.[5]

How to avoid this

The only way to avoid the removal of dislikes is to download the extension Return YouTube Dislike[6], or if you have a Jailbroken iOS device (which may void the warranty), use the Return YouTube Dislikes tweak[7] or install YouTube Vanced[8] (the latest version, offically removed, though there is a mirror[9]) for Android. It will allow you to once again see the number of dislikes a video had, and you can even go back to the announcement made by YouTube and see the ratio obliterating the likes. It will be more accurate if more users install the extensions.



  1. 1.0 1.1
  4. Developers: If you’re using the YouTube API for dislikes, you will no longer have access to public dislike data beginning on December 13, 2021. Your end users will still be able to view dislike data related to their own content on authenticated API requests. You can apply for an exemption (to have dislike data on non-authenticated calls) as long as you don’t display or share dislike data with your end users.