Last month YouTube made the controversial choice to hide dislikes from users. The company has faced stiff backlash over the decision, even from some of its own “stars.” Now, developers have given users a way to bring back the dislike button, for now. The Chrome extension “Return YouTube Dislike” has dropped and is free to install. The developers are taking donations to help fund the Chrome extension maintenance.
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The Chome extension can be downloaded and used on Brave browser, Microsoft Edge, and Vivaldi as they all support extensions from the Chrome store. The extension is simple to use; download it, install it, and it’s ready to go. You may need to refresh YouTube once or twice before it sticks, but it does work. It’s important to note that you should check the extension’s permissions if you’re concerned with privacy.
This new Chrome extension may not work forever, though, as the developers use YouTube’s API to access the dislike data. YouTube could quickly change the code to block extensions from accessing that data, and that will put developers back at square one.
YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim has come out against the company’s choice to go down this path. Karim believes that dislikes are an essential feature for the platform, and removing its visibility will lead to the platform’s decline.
YouTube’s official statement on removing the dislike button is below:
At YouTube, we strive to be a place where creators of all sizes and backgrounds can find and share their voice. To ensure that YouTube promotes respectful interactions between viewers and creators, we introduced several features and policies to improve their experience. And earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks — where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.
As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button. But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior1. We also heard directly from smaller creators and those just getting started that they are unfairly targeted by this behavior — and our experiment confirmed that this does occur at a higher proportion on smaller channels.
Based on what we learned, we’re making the dislike counts private across YouTube, but the dislike button is not going away. This change will start gradually rolling out today.
Creators will still be able to find their exact dislike counts in YouTube Studio, along with other existing metrics, if they would like to understand how their content is performing.
Viewers can still dislike videos to tune their recommendations and privately share feedback with creators.YouTube
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Last Updated on December 3, 2021.