YouTube Co-Founder Changes Description of First-Ever Video on Site to Oppose Hiding Dislike Count

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim has reacted to the video streaming platform’s changes to the dislike option, saying it’s “a stupid idea”. YouTube recently announced that it will stop showing dislike counts on all videos hosted on its platform to protect creators from harassment and targeted attacks. But the decision has not gone down well with many YouTube users, including some video creators. To show his disapproval, Karim updated the description of the first-ever video uploaded on YouTube — “Me At The Zoo”.

“When every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is. Try again, YouTube,” he wrote in the description. Besides being the co-founder of YouTube, he is also the first person to upload a video to the site, which is the “Me At The Zoo” video. Later, YouTube was sold to Google.

Karim also commented on the video YouTube shared detailing its move to hide the dislike count. Matt Koval, the Creator Liaison of YouTube, explained to viewers what the move would mean. Koval says the dislike option allowed creators to know whether the video was good or not but, unfortunately, research teams found that groups of viewers were targeting a creator, usually because they don’t like the creator.

“Matt doesn’t look excited because he knows it’s the wrong decision,” Karim said.

Ironically, the Matt Koval video has got 139,000 dislike counts against just 14,000 likes. Critics often cite the public count of likes — or dislikes — on a video post to suggest it is harmful. Facebook and Instagram have allowed users to remove the option. After the recent move by YouTube, users will still be able to click on the “dislike” button below a clip but the creators will no longer see the negative review count.

YouTube has asserted the change will protect small creators who are targeted by dislike attacks. It said it wants to promote “respectful interactions between viewers and creators”. YouTube’s research has shown that making the dislike count private would result in a reduction of harassment of creators.

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