YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has explained the platform’s decision to remove the dislike button. The controversial move, which was made late last year, has been criticized by some of the most popular content creators.
Technically, the dislike button is still there. However, the number of dislikes on a video is not displayed to the public.
In an interview with gaming streamer Ludwig Ahgren, YouTube CEO explained why the platform no longer displays the number of dislikes. She insisted that displaying the number of dislikes can harm small content creators.
“We knew that it was going to be controversial,” said Wojcicki. “We have to do what is the right thing for the ecosystem as a whole and running the website as a whole, we have access to data that individual creators might not have, meaning that we’re looking at all the statistics of how overall the platform is performing. We’re not just running one experiment, we’re running many over a period of time. Dislikes, we heard loud and clear why many people were unhappy with that decision. We also saw the impact it was having on a lot of new creators and that’s bad. We need to support new creators and how they’re growing for the long term health of our ecosystem.”
Wojcicki wasn’t asked about the prevailing idea that the platform turned off the likes to help protect some brands and The White House from a negative public perception.
Wojcicki also said the platform had no plans to bring back public dislike counts.