YouTube is considering ways to combat the weaponization of its dislike button on videos.
The video-hosting and social platform has seen its share of ‘dislike mobes’ attacking videos by spamming the dislike button in hopes of hurting the creator’s channel. The most recent example of this would be YouTube Rewind, which sparked ire from the community for ignoring some of the platform’s biggest moments of the year.
YouTube’s director of project management, Tom Leung, addressed the dislike mob issue in a recent ‘Creator Insider‘ video. This includes experiments that could make it difficult or impossible for dislike attacks to form.
Currently, the team is leaning towards adding an option for creators to toggle the visibility of likes and dislikes. However, hiding the ratings has impacts videos with positive responses, and Leung says the team knows how important public stats are to creators.
Leung also discusses an option to ask viewers why they’re clicking the dislike button. This could take on the form of a checkbox with reasons you dislike the video.
“That could give the creator more information, and it would also give viewers pause instead of just doing it impulsively,” Leung said. “On the other hand, that’s complicated to build, complicated to collect, and then to relay the results to the creator in analytics or Creator Studio.”
The team has also considered the extreme of removing the dislike button entirely, but Leung says this wouldn’t be democratic.
However, Leung maintains that these changes are still in a discussion stage. If the team decides these aren’t the right approach, they’ll wait until a better idea comes along.
Some creators responded to the video suggesting YouTube implements a minimum viewing requirement to stop dislikes. For example, viewers would have to watch 25 or 50 percent of a video before the rating buttons unlock. It’s a good idea that could combat dislike spam, and it’s less extreme than other suggestions.