The experiment is a different application from the solutions previously discussed by the company, but it is similar to other attempts by platforms such as Instagram to try to prevent targeted attacks in their infancy.
The like and Dislike statistics can be viewed on the page YouTube Studio Individual content creator, but only likes will be shown publicly via video.
In a support article explaining the test, YouTube said disliking can negatively affect a content creator’s well-being and potentially trigger a targeted campaign to dislike a content creator’s video.
The basic idea is that seeing and watching the number rise may be enough motivation to join in and make the number bigger.
Content creators rely on like and dislike as a form of comment to steer creative production, but it’s a lot like giving a bad game a review on purpose via Steam, as it’s easy to turn what could be a useful feature into a harmful feature.
And when YouTube first announced that it was looking to address dislike issues, it was thinking of three ideas: hiding numbers for both like and dislike, requesting additional interaction in order to dislike something, or completely removing like and dislike.
Instagram tried a similar type of test when it decided to hide likes across posts in order to make the experience more realistic
Facebook this year also removed the Like button from its pages in favor of more accurate follower measurement.
Likes are clearly positive in nature, but stalking them can have a particularly negative effect on creators whose livelihoods depend on closely monitoring interactions with their posts.
YouTube does not test for hiding dislikes across all videos of the content creator, but if you notice them on your page or have an opinion as a viewer, the platform collects comments on its site.
The platform said: The tests are taking place globally over the next few weeks across Android and iOS, while comments are gathering from a range of designs.
👍👎 In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count. If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks (example below!). pic.twitter.com/aemrIcnrbx
– YouTube (@YouTube) March 30, 2021