Youtube eliminates dislike counter

I knew this was in the works, but they just made it live a day or two ago. Where before Youtub would display a counter of both likes and dislikes, now they are only showing the likes count. It’s a free product so they can do what they want, but I’m just noticing how annoying the change is. I used to filter stuff like recipe videos by comparing the ratio of dislikes to likes to get a quick sense of whether the recipe is judged as trustworthy or good by viewers, but now I don’t have that. I discovered anywhere up to about 10% dislikes to likes meant you’ve likely stumbled upon a reasonable video. (I try to find something more in the 1-5% range). Get to a quarter, and you’re better off looking somewhere else. Get to a half and you better do the exact opposite of what the video is telling you to do.

Now, I get that there are idiots who will just downvote videos for the hell of it, but the above rule has served me well, and I always make the assumption that a certain percentage of downvotes is idiots.

Am I the only one irked by this change?

(ETA: Changed Facebook to Youtube above.)

I presume you mean YouTube.

I use this extension, but I’m not sure how accurate it is. I note that people stopped mass disliking all COVID-related news videos, for example.

Oh, sweet! And, yes, I meant Youtube. I changed it and asked a mod to change the thread title. Whoops.

ETA: Cheers! I installed it and it works like a charm from what I’ve seen so far.

I use the Like button regularly. I’ve heard it helps the channel. YouTube’s algorithm offers the video to more people.

I very rarely use the dislike except for Click bait. I hate getting suckered into a ten minute video that has maybe 30 seconds of real information.

I generally don’t dislike videos – can’t remember the last time I did so, though I’m sure I’ve had done it – but I like to look at the numbers to judge a video’s quality and whether it’s worth my while to sit through it. (That, coupled with scanning the comments if I’m on the fence.)

Yeah, I find this sucky and indicative of a deteriorating universe. Wildlife videos vary hugely in quality, and the worst ones usually have tempting titles — because the producers are shameless and deceptive.

The Likes count tells you nothing, but the ratio of Dislikes to Likes is an excellent tell. If the video has more Dislikes than Likes it’s nearly certain to be crap. If more than 25% of the ratings are Dislikes, you should look for something better to waste your time on.

Probably fine for average videos, but as pointed out already, it’s incredibly easy to manipulate and brigade for anything even mildly controversial or popular, rendering ratios generally useless for those.

I’m thinking that this was probably decided on by weighing the effect on the average kitten video vs. the potential harm and exposure for letting this continue for political and health related ones. But that’s just a guess.

I guess I just know well enough that for anything political or otherwise controversial, you’re going to get a lot closer to that 50:50 ratio. But I almost never watch anything like that on YouTube, so I don’t consider it. I would have thought people would realize that the ratios in that case are naturally going to be less reliable, but I probably am too optimistic in that regard.

Dislikes/likes is hugely important when you’re looking through home or car repair videos. I didn’t know about the change, but I’m glad there’s a Chrome fix.

It’s also available for Firefox.

Exactly. Can I potentially kill myself or ruin my house by following the instructions in this video? Sure, I can read the comments, but the like:dislike ratio gives me a quick, first-level filter.

This has ruined the game of balancing likes & dislikes on neutrality-themed videos like this one:

I can’t find them now but a few years ago I found a list of dozens of videos that were related to neutrality somehow that users were balancing the like/dislike ratio.

No one seems to know why YouTube did this, as the change has been almost universally disliked. The best guesses involve certain higher profile video makers (i.e. the ones from TV or possibly from news) demanding the change because their videos would get too many dislikes.

One thing I have noticed is that the COVID-19 news videos no longer have massive downvoting campaigns.

Me either except where the video generates views by completely misrepresenting the title. Otherwise I will make a comment.

I’ve been really surprised at how many people claim to use the dislike count to weigh a video’s usefulness. The dislike button has been (over)used or abused so frivolously I long stopped considering it a valid measure of anything, no matter how innocuous the content.

And all the calm, reasonable discussion on Youtube about how helpful it is for DIY videos or product reviews and such comes off as disingenuous; people don’t mention or even acknowledge the HUGE amount of times the dislike button has been abused. They just want to find a quality video on knitting and gosh, Youtube’s made that harder now.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that they cancelled Youtube Rewind after the 2019 edition became one of the most-disliked videos of all time, and that right after hiding the dislike counter they announced it’s coming back.

I have to ask if this is a personal issue for you. Posters in this thread have vouched for the usefulness of the Dislike to Like ratio for videos on cooking, home repair, and wildlife and you’re discounting them (“knitting and gosh”) because you’ve encountered some videos that you feel had too many Dislikes?

Could you be more specific about how a video you approve of has been hurt by receiving too many unjustified Dislikes?

I’ve always gotten a chuckle out of videos always getting at least a few token dislikes. A video chronicling a kittens recovery after surgery to correct its birth defect? There’s 100,000 likes and 4 dislikes.

I don’t see how they’d even know.

I’ve discovered it to be an extremely valuable predictive metric. I’m smart enough to realize that any video featuring the words “Obama” or “Trump” will be whack-a-doodle on the counter, but if I’m looking for a recipe, that’s a decent metric. Like I said, up to 10% dislikes is fine, though I like fewer. A quarter and things are messy and I will quickly peruse the comments and see what the issue is. I’ve never encountered a recipe or home improvement video that is maliciously downvoted.