[Update: Jan. 18] Did YouTube remove dislike button on videos? No, here's what's happening

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on May 26, 2021) follows:

When it comes to likes and dislikes on YouTube, the video-sharing giant gets a recollection of controversies related to online wars among users.

YouTube’s own rewind video became a victim of people’s frustration and the video was slapped with millions of dislikes.

A powerful tool, isn’t it? Its recent disappearance from the YouTube videos is acting as a catalyst to further ignite the controversy.

YouTube-inline-new

A lot of users, at random instances, have found out that the dislike button keeps disappearing and coming back while surfing YouTube.

the dislike button on youtube doesn’t work anymore????? um

Hell yeah the dislike button on YouTube from my POV only shows “dislike” and no number

YouTube-dislike-button-reports
Source (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

The dislike button, all of a sudden, has gone wonky for a lot of users using the app version of it.

It appears randomly on videos where the dislike button won’t show the actual count. This has led many to think that YouTube is planning to get done away with the button after all.

But when dug deeper into this issue, we found out that it isn’t really what it appears. YouTube is more like doing some tests at this moment.

The update repository page of YouTube suggests that they are experimenting with the visuals of like and dislike buttons which may affect how the dislike button appears to a user.

Experiment with like/dislike button designs on mobile: With a small group of users, we’re testing designs for the like and dislike buttons on video watch pages. Some of these designs won’t include a visible like or dislike count.

If you’re in the experiment, you can still like or dislike a video to help tune the recommendations you see on YouTube. Creators will still be able to see the exact number of likes and dislikes on their videos in YouTube Studio.

youtube-dislike-button-truth
Source (1, 2)

The FAQ section further clears the air. Here’s what it says.

Q. If I’m in this experiment, can I opt out?
A. Currently, there’s no way to opt out of this experiment.

Q. Are you removing the dislike button?
A. No, we’re just experimenting with a few designs that don’t show the dislike counts.

Well, this is enough to put a pause button on the rumours doing rounds on the internet about YouTube ripping the dislike button.

At this moment, it is unclear as to how long this experiment is scheduled to last but we hope it doesn’t take much longer.

All the functions work properly, it’s only the visual count that has been compromised so feel free to hit the dislike button whenever you feel like it.

YouTube

That said, we will add more developments as and when they are available so stay tuned.

Update 1 (November 06)

06:00 pm (IST): After a long experiment, it seems that YouTube has finally removed the dislike button in the latest update and users are not quite happy with this change, as can be seen from the reports.

youtube-dislike-button-gone-in-latest-update
(Source)

Update 2 (November 11)

11:48 am (IST): YouTube has put in place the change where dislikes on videos are now hidden from the public. This has drawn a lot of criticism from viewers. Some even threaten to cancel their subscriptions.

Cancel Youtube premium to protest against hiding dislikes. (Source)

As YouTube is actively butchering its beloved dislike button, let me ask y’all a question: What are some controversial changes that YouTube has successfully reversed? (Source)

That said, the new change might be welcomed by those who post videos on the platform. So feel free to share your opinion on the matter by dropping a comment in the comments section below.

Update 3 (November 12)

03:30 pm (IST): YouTube is still adamant on its decision to remove the dislike counter from videos for the public despite the boatload of criticism. Responding to a user’s critique, YouTube support said the following:

While our research showed that removing the public dislike count disincentivized trolls and dislike attacks, we know there’s more work to be done to help protect creators from harassment – this is just one of the many things that we’re constantly working on. (Source)

Update 4 (November 13)

12:12 pm (IST): Some big-time YouTube creators including the likes of MKBHD and PewDiePie have come out against YouTube’s decision to remove the dislike counter from the eyes of the public.

This should hopefully get YouTube to discuss the change further and maybe even rethink the decision.

Update 5 (November 15)

05:05 pm (IST): The co-founder of YouTube — Jawed Karim — tweaked the description of the very first video on Youtube titled ‘Me at the zoo’ with the following:

When every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is. Try again, YouTube 🤦‍♂️ (Source)

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated YouTube Section so be sure to follow them as well.

Update 6 (November 17)

12:15 pm (IST): Ever since the company announced the Dislike count going private, multiple change.org petitions have been started – 1, 2, 3, 4 – wherein the service users are trying to convince the company to reverse the decision and make the count public.

Update 7 (November 18)

05:43 pm (IST): A YouTube creator has also highlighted that it’s now difficult for creators to even see dislikes on their own videos and thus makes it hard to know where things can be improved upon.

And also, it’s become so difficult to find where dislikes are. Not online, not on the app, not on YouTube Studio. Honestly, I actually liked it as a metric to improve my content.. (Source)

Update 8 (November 19)

04:04 pm (IST): A fresh report has highlighted a nifty extension that is now available which lets users see the dislike counter on videos even though it’s been disabled by YouTube. Unfortunately, this extension may not be so useful after December 13 since it uses Google’s API to generate the dislike count.

Update 9 (November 20)

01:42 pm (IST): The developer of the extension that lets users get back the dislike counter has posted an update on the site to warn users not to install version 0.0.0.4 due to some issues. Instead, you should install an older or newer version.

We’re experiencing temporary issues. Please DO NOT use version 0.0.0.4 If you have it – remove it manually and install any other version (newer or older) (Source)

Update 10 (November 22)

12:42 pm (IST): The extension that brings back the dislike counter bagged a new update as version 0.0.0.7 and even adds the ability to see full (unshortened) likes and dislikes on hovering over the rating bar.

Update 11 (November 23)

12:09 pm (IST): YouTube Dislike Button Count is another extension that’s available for Chrome that allows users to bring back the dislike counter.

Update 12 (November 24)

01:41 pm (IST): In our limited test, we were able to get back the dislike counter on YouTube via the YouTube Vanced application. Therefore, in case you don’t want ads and also would like to see the dislike counter, Vanced might be the way forward.

youtube-dislike-counter-missing

Update 12 (November 25)

04:55 pm (IST): Another potential workaround, for the time being, is to turn on Incognito Mode via the official app. You should be able to see the dislike counter, however, sacrifice a lot of personalization in the process too.

Update 13 (November 26)

04:31 pm (IST): Those looking to get back the information on dislikes on videos can even use the vidIQ extension that’s available on Chrome and Firefox.

Update 14 (November 27)

04:50 pm (IST): Youtube Dislikes Revealer is another extension that you can use to bring back the dislike counter on YouTube videos.

Update 15 (November 29)

11:41 am (IST): According to reports from top tech content creators on YouTube, despite meetings with the platform managers, the video streaming platform seems to be going ahead with its move after all.

Yes I had the dislike counter meeting with YouTube.
Zero ducks were given about my concerns or the ones shared by our community.
Source

FWIW I also had a meeting with YouTube managers about the removal of dislikes within hours of dropping my video about it.
On one hand, no other social network has been so responsive and eager to listen to creator feedback… But they stuck with their guns on this one
Source

Update 19 (November 30)

11:50 am (IST): It seems that the Incognito mode and Vanced workarounds we suggested earlier may be of little use going forth as some users are reporting that even that does not do the trick anymore.

GODDAMN IT! NOW THE DISLIKE BUTTON IS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY GONE ON ALL OF MY YT CHANNELS AND EVEN INCOGNITO MODE! This is absolutely pathetic, incredibly sick and twisted, and completely disgusting! Not even Vanced will let me see the dislike count on mobile! (Source)

Update 20 (December 01)

01:05 pm (IST): As many have pointed out, Disqus had removed downvotes from its platform but eventually brought them back after backlash from the community.

Therefore, it’s a wise idea to make sure YouTube notices what the community wants by sharing your feedback regarding the decision via all available channels. It might be a long shot and we may have to live with the dislikes hidden, but it’s worth pushing for.

Update 21 (December 02)

12:36 pm (IST): iPhone users with Jailbroken devices can also take advantage of the Return YouTube Dislike tweak that can be via Cydia, Sileo, Zebra, and Installer.

Update 22 (December 03)

01:44 pm (IST): One of the petitions to bring back the dislike counter we highlighted earlier has picked up 9,201 signatures at the time of this update. Thus, if you’re hoping for a change, we’d suggest voicing your opinion by signing the petition too.

Update 23 (December 04)

04:25 pm (IST): The Return YouTube Dislike extension is now available for all Chromium browsers (Chrome/Edge/Opera/Brave) and Firefox and also picked up a new update to version 1.1.0.2.

Update 24 (December 06)

01:55 pm (IST): In a recent interview on Lew Later, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer — Neal Mohan — revealed that the decision to hide the dislike counter was in part to balance between “competing objectives and goals” in the ecosystem (YouTube).

Neal goes on to explain that the dislike counter had little to no impact on the viewership that videos were getting since the platform’s algorithm takes into account many other variables to recommend videos to users.

Unfortunately, there are no signs of the dislike counter coming back anytime soon. You can check the interview out below:

Update 25 (December 07)

12:12 pm (IST): Some YouTube users have taken to the Play Store to leave 1-star ratings for the app due to the removal of the dislike counter. But Google is allegedly deleting these negative reviews. Read all about it here.

Update 26 (December 08)

04:28 pm (IST): Some users have taken to Reddit and Twitter to mention that the removal of the dislike counter from videos led them to be scammed by downloading paid software recommended in videos which either don’t work or in some cases are free but contain viruses.

Why did YouTube remove dislike button? I was just scammed badly due to dislike button removal. There was a video on YouTube that showcased a certain software for windows. I was interested in it, therefore I downloaded it. I thought it was legit as I saw a bunch of likes and 0 dislikes, but when I downloaded lots of ads started popping up all over my computer, and I couldn’t get rid of this software…. YouTube, we need the dislike button for this kind of situation, there was no reason to remove dislikes. (Source)

Update 27 (December 09)

10:23 am (IST): Popular custom YouTube app for Android, YouTube Vanced has since come out to clarify that they won’t be bringing back the dislike county as it is impossible.

vanced app wont bring back dislike count
Source

Update 28 (December 10)

11:45 am (IST): Another popular extension — Enhancer for YouTube — has picked up support for displaying the dislike counter on YouTube as highlighted by a Redditor.

Update 29 (December 11)

05:53 pm (IST): Many users were able to see dislike counts even after YouTube announced its removal from videos.

Users think that they are lucky, but YouTube has once again confirmed that this change is rolling out gradually and will take time to fully expand.

Update 30 (December 13)

04:00 pm (IST): After today (December 13), developers will also lose access to the dislike API data from YouTube. Thus, the various extensions that brought back the dislike counter will not be accurate or of much use.

Apart from extensions, websites that display dislikes will also not be able to show accurate and real-time dislikes on YouTube videos, as pointed out by an individual.

Today would be the last day to see the public dislike count on @YouTube on alternative live counter websites before its API data on them becomes inaccessible tomorrow. (Source)

Update 31 (December 14)

04:56 pm (IST): It appears that the Return YouTube Dislike extension and presumably others have stopped working for some users already. An individual took to Twitter to report the issue by sharing a screenshot.

So the extention stopped working cus of YouTube’s API (or lack thereof) but for a split second when i open a video I can still see the dislike counter before it goes to “NAN”. So maybe there is still a way to circumvent the API. (Source)

youtube-dislike-counter-extension-not-working

Update 32 (December 15)

03:40 pm (IST): ICYMI: Extensions such as Return YouTube Dislike may still show the dislikes on certain videos, however, since YouTube pulled its APIs from the public, the data shared by extensions may not be entirely accurate.

As per the FAQ section by the developer of Return YouTube Dislike, the following will happen once the APIs are no longer available:

The backend will switch to using a combination of archived dislike stats, estimates extrapolated from extension user data, and estimates based on view/like ratios for videos whose dislikes weren’t archived as well as outdated dislike count archives. (Source)

Update 33 (January 10)

03:30 pm (IST): A recent Chrome update disabled the Return YouTube Dislike extension. Head here to know what to do.

Update 34 (January 18)

01:08 pm (IST): While YouTube now does not allow you to check the dislike counts, it seems that its unofficial version is already working on adding an option for the same.

Vanced has announced on Twitter that they are working on third-party dislike implementation. However, no ETA has been provided.

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Ashutosh Dubey

Having a fervour for technology, Ashutosh keeps himself surrounded with modern tech. His ideology exhibits a blend of hard work, with fun. Not to mention, his altruistic endeavours related to social work.