YouTube commits to bringing you bad videos

YouTube's decision to hide dislike counts on all videos is absurd and seems more like the result of a child's tantrum than an informed team decision. I say this as one of the first users of YouTube in the days when few had heard of it, who uploaded content and withstood heavy dislikes. Those were barbaric times, when the scary dislike bar was red with blood.

Without being able to see the number of dislikes on videos, the dislike button itself becomes redundant. Pushing it will do nothing for viewers except indicate to the person who pressed it, that they pressed it. It will serve no purpose, and might as well be removed too.

What will the new system even look like?

Without being able to see the dislikes on videos, being able to see the likes on videos is also of no consequence. YouTube did not explain how it would display the now-meaningless likes on a video while they compete against nothing. Yes, we are used to the competing like and dislike bars, formerly coloured before they were reduced to thin lines to look less impactful, and eventually turned grey as if to reduce the crimson stain of being disliked too much. Will there now simply be a grey line representing likes, always the same on every video, that doesn't indicate anything?

This might be an example of inclusivity and inoffensiveness reaching an extreme at which it undermines inclusivity itself - a point where the desire to value every voice comes full circle and instead excludes every voice. Moreover, if people are excluded from expressing their dislike of something, they still won't like the thing and their resentment may only be more intense, perhaps moving to an ever more offensive comments section.

Failure to fight disinformation

As well as causing other problems, YouTube's decision to remove the public dislike count may undermine its own fight against disinformation on the platform. A significant amount of false information, such as bogus science, proliferates on YouTube and is combated by a sensible and balanced community who dislike, flag and debunk such content. Removing the dislike button on such videos will remove an obvious sign that might have prevented people from falling for scams and disinformation. In short, YouTube's decision to help bad videos look good, to safeguard the feelings of bad creators, will probably allow internet conmen to take their game further and claim more victims.

Who is vandalising YouTube?

At the end of the day, the site and all the changes it makes are up to Google, and YouTube will continue to remain a very popular service despite this change. However, such a change points to a lack of talent or creativity.

YouTube complains that mobs are exploiting their system. However, if YouTube's hands only deface and destroy services and features, they are vandalising their own website rather than improving it. They won't make people more feel safer or more respected.