YouTube to remove all DISLIKES from public view in bid to protect White House and mainstream media
11/15/2021 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Video sharing website YouTube announced Wednesday, Nov. 10, that it will remove all dislikes from public view to shield content creators from harassment – a move that is actually meant to protect the White House and mainstream media.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that the removal of dislike counts from public view aims to "better protect creators from harassment and reduce dislike attacks."

In a video also released on Wednesday, YouTube Head Content Liaison Matt Kovan said: "Research teams at YouTube have found there's this whole other use for disliking a video. Apparently, groups of viewers are targeting a video's dislike button to drive up the count, turning it into something like a game with a visible scoreboard. it's usually just because they don't like the creator or what they stand for."

Kovan clarified that while the dislike button will be staying on videos, total dislike counts will now be private. "You can still dislike videos … but you won't be able to see the dislike count. Only the creator can find it on the back end, if they want."

According to the content liaison, YouTube experimented earlier this year in making the dislike count private to see if it would help reduce coordinated dislike attacks.

Following analysis, the removal of public dislike counts did contribute to a reduction in dislike attacks. "This again is about protecting all creators and making sure they have a chance to succeed and feel safe in doing so," Kovan added. (Related: YouTube to test hiding dislike counts from videos as a way to protect the Biden White House channel from being swarmed with dislikes.)


A ZeroHedge report from April 2021 confirmed YouTube's tinkering of video dislikes – to the point of deleting them. The tinkering mainly centered on President Joe Biden's official White House YouTube channel, with about 2.5 million video dislikes being removed.

According to an anonymous researcher, Biden's official channel posted more than 300 videos with almost 3.7 million dislikes. Of this number, nearly 2.5 million dislikes were removed instantaneously while some more were deleted after an hour.

New policy receives sharp rebukes

However, Information Liberation publisher Chris Menahan said Wojcicki's announcement was "a comically stupid excuse" for YouTube after it "screwed over small creators in every way possible." He continued that the general contempt for both the White House and the mainstream media in the form of dislikes is so high that tinkering with the dislike numbers was insufficient.

According to Menahan, the Google-owned video sharing platform has been placing mainstream media videos about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the YouTube front page. But he pointed out that each and every one of these videos "gets downvoted to hell, with nearly all the comments being negative."

Menahan said: "This is the norm and I'm sure they find it frustrating."

He posted a screenshot of the White House's Nov. 10 COVID-19 press briefing on YouTube. It showed 952 dislikes out of 997 votes – an overwhelmingly negative rating of 95.5 percent. Videos by mainstream media outlets were likewise not spared. A Nov. 9 Bloomberg video received a negative rating of 87 percent, while a Nov. 10 video from the BBC received dislikes equal to 79 percent.

Even Kovan's video explaining the new policy on dislikes suffered the same fate, receiving 82.1 percent of dislikes from YouTube users. Aside from dislikes, it also received sharp rebukes from users disagreeing with the policy.

One highly rated comment said: "You've removed the ability for people to be able to easily spot videos that are related to scams [and] false [or] misleading information … by hiding important information from the viewer. All to protect a handful of people that got upset that a video got dislike-bombed even though it doesn't affect the video negatively in any way?"

Menahan said that in reality, YouTube's decision to remove public dislike counts was for a more sinister purpose.

"What [the commenter] failed to understand is that they're removing the downvotes precisely so that the [mainstream] media, the White House and the Big Pharma companies they've partnered with … can push scams and false [or] misleading information and be shielded from all pushback and criticism." (Related: Free speech immunity: YouTube bans channels airing criticism of vaccines.) has more articles about the Google-owned video sharing website concealing publicly viewable video dislike counts.

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