YouTube is no stranger to viewers weaponizing the dislike button, as seen by the company’s recent Rewind video, but the product development team is working on a way to tackle the issue. Tom Leung, director of project management at YouTube, addressed the issue of “dislike mobs” in a recent issue of Creator Insider, YouTube’s corporate series for creators.
“Dislike mobs” are the YouTube equivalent to review bombings on Steam — a group of people who are upset with a certain creator or game decide to execute an organized attack and downvote or negatively review a game or video into oblivion. It’s an issue on YouTube as well, and one that creators have spoken out against many times in the past. Reports have suggested that a video with a high number of dislikes — that outweighs the number of positive likes — is less likely to be recommended, and could therefore hurt the creator’s channel.
Now, the company is planning to experiment with new ways to make it more difficult for organized attacks to be executed. Right now, the current option is for creators to go into their preferences and indicate they don’t want ratings (likes and dislike numbers) to be visible; the issue is that videos with an overwhelmingly positive response also won’t be seen. Leung and his team are aware of how important those public stats are to creators, too.
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