YouTube is one of the biggest platforms in the world right now to get your voice out there, and reactions from viewers play a role in how YouTube promotes that content. However, many over the years have turned the YouTube dislike button into a weapon, and now the company finally wants to do something about it.

Explained in the latest Creator Inside video, embedded below, YouTube users and creators are briefed on the fact that YouTube is working on solutions for “dislike mobs.” Essentially, these are groups of people that purposefully visit a video and immediately dislike it, regardless of the content shown. Due to how YouTube’s algorithms work, this sort of attack can take away some of the impact of the video even if the platform does have some tools in place to avoid dislike button abuse.

To further help its creators see when dislike mobs attack their videos, YouTube is working on a few potential new solutions and it wants feedback from creators. Tom Leung explains that the ideas discussed in the video are just being “lightly discussed” within YouTube right now and that if they aren’t the right approach, they’ll press the pause button until something better comes along.

The solutions explained include having users who dislike a video explain why they disliked the video. This would be done with a drop-down checkbox. However, it seems unlikely to be used as it’s explained as “difficult to build.” Personally, I doubt people would take the time to fill it out too.

Another option is to not show the total number of likes and dislikes on a video, or even just making the number of dislikes private. Leung does note, though, that these latter options wouldn’t be as “democratic” as the current setup. Plus, dislike mobs aren’t the only source of dislikes. Just look at YouTube Rewind 2018.

Hopefully, YouTube can come to a solution that works for everyone, blocking out dislike mobs without removing the button altogether. One option mentioned in the comments of the video suggests the idea of only allowing the dislike button to be used if the user in question has watched a certain percentage of the video.

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Ben Schoon

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