YouTube is well aware of the rampant misuse of dislike button on the platform and its recent Rewind video is a good example.
To address this issue of ‘dislike mobs,’ YouTube’s product development team is experimenting with different ways to curb the misuse of the dislike button.
Dislike mobs are basically a group of people who are usually against certain video creator so they execute an organized attack on a video by downvoting or commenting negatively to push it into oblivion.
It’s a longstanding issue on YouTube against which creators have spoken out many times in the past. Reports suggest that a video with a high number of dislikes doesn’t perform well as it is less likely to be recommended, and therefore, hurts the creator’s channel.
This is why the company is planning to make it more difficult for such organized attacks to take place. The strategy could include turning off rating counts by default, or asking viewers to give an explanation for a dislike, or even removing the dislike button altogether.
YouTube’s project management director Tom Leung acknowledges that these approaches also have drawbacks. Since asking for an explanation would hinder people from expressing their views because not everyone has the time or willingness to give an explanation.
Whereas removing dislikes will be considered extreme and not very “liberal.” The director also added that YouTube might not take up any of these approaches if it tends to do more harm than good.
The YouTube team is currently at an early stage of taking any decision where they are seeking feedback from creators who could present more effective and fair solutions.