At least that’s what one of the co-founders of the platform believes, convinced that this disappearance will lead to the decline of YouTube.
A few days ago, YouTube changed its interface by removing the dislike counter on some of its videos. Already initiated at the beginning of the year 2021, this new feature theoretically aims to fight against cyberbullying, by avoiding the mass effects linked to dislikes. After several controversial test phases in recent months, the platform said in an official statement that it was now preparing to definitely bury the “I don’t like” counter.
A guaranteed decline?
Not surprisingly, this new feature formalized by YouTube in a recent blog post does not appeal to everyone. Starting with Jawed Karim, one of the company’s three historic co-founders. By modifying the description of the very first video posted on the platform (April 24, 2005) called Me at the Zoo, Jawed Karim explains: “Why would YouTube make this universally hated change? There is a reason, but it is not a good reason, and it will not be publicly disclosed. (…) The ability to easily and quickly identify bad content is an essential characteristic of a user-generated content platform. Why? Because not all user-generated content is good. It is not possible. In fact, most of the content is not good. And that’s OK ”.
Convinced that YouTube risks it “decline” by removing the dislike counter, Jawed Karim now fears that the platform will become “A place where everything is mediocre”. An opinion shared by many users. In addition to cyberstalking, likes and dislikes also work as an effective indicator to highlight misleading videos, fake news or simply unpopular content.
Concretely, what is changing?
As on Instagram, which has been planning for several months to eliminate its likes counter, the removal of YouTube dislikes is not, however, really one. Quite simply because it will always be possible to reward a “I do not like” the videos that annoy you. In reality, only the number of dislikes will be publicly hidden, and accessible only to the owner of the video. Objective for the Google platform: to avoid the effects of groups that could lead to cyberstalking, and to promote “Respectful interactions between viewers and creators”. It remains to be seen how things will turn out in the future.