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(Pocket-lint) - Public dislike counts on YouTube videos are a thing of the past.

Effective immediately, as of Wednesday 10 November 2021, YouTube will hide public dislike counts on all videos across its site. The company said the reason is to keep smaller creators from being harassed by dislike mob attacks and to promote “respectful interactions between viewers and creators".

To be clear, the dislike button will still be available for private feedback. Creators can see the dislike numbers for their own video via YouTube Studio. The number of dislikes is just no longer visible for all to see. If you're a well-meaning viewer, this change undoubtedly makes it harder for you to judge a video's like-to-dislike ratio and to decide whether to watch. But it also makes it less easy and quick for others to publicly shame video creators.

Last March, YouTube first revealed it was considering hiding public dislike counts, and some creators have long had the ability to hide them. Now, it's announcing they will disappear - gradually - for everyone. When it tested hiding dislike numbers, YouTube found people were less likely to use the button. 

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Keep in mind other social networks have experimented with hiding public rating metrics. Instagram, for instance, even lets you hide like counts.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 10 November 2021.