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YouTube Opinion The 'DisLike' Button: What You Are Missing

Stanley | Team TB

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I had a long conversation the other day with a creator who had just recieved a series of 'dislikes' from what appeared to be multiple burner accounts. Some disgruntled individual felt the need to spend their time jumping from account to account as they repeatedly clicked the dislike button. By the end of the day the creator had amassed 14 likes and 14 dislikes. They were upset; what was this going to do to their video? With as many dislikes as likes was the algorhithm going to respond negatively as well? What can be done when someone decides to target you like this?!

There are a couple of things to consider when this happens and guess what... at the end of the day you are going ot be just fine. Consider it a badge of honor; you haven't really made it as a creator on YouTube until you catch a troll. And YES; what they are doing is going to make an impact on your video. Let me tell you how.

What Likes Are Initially Intended For
The first thing that everybody thinks about when they see that dislike show up on their video for the first time is 'how does this affect my video?' But what they don't think about is the initial intention of the the like and dislike buttons. Their purpose (at first) is as a message from the viewer to YouTube that says 'Hey, I don't enjoy this content.' Effectively they are telling YouTube that they do not want to see this type of content any more and that YouTube needs to suggest different videos.

Now a troll is going to search you out. They are going to look specifically for your work so that they can jump right in and hit that dislike button (often they are faster on the thumbs down than anybody else with the thumbs up). At the very least you can appreciate the passion you arise in them; love and hate are the same emotion with the same impulse. As such it doesn't really matter if YouTube shares your content with them, so this doesn't make much of a difference. But after some time you can expect that they will get bored and move on and when that happens at least you can rest assured that your content will no longer be served to them (or their various burner accounts).


The Value of Likes/Dislikes On A Video
Now there are some things to be concerned about with dislikes... but maybe not what you think. They do have an affect on your video in the algorhithm and if you garner enough then YouTube will downgrade the discovery of your video. So how many do you need to worry about? I don't know but... it's a LOT.

What YouTube is looking at isn't so much how many dislikes you've got, as much as it is looking at the ratio of dislikes to likes. Is this video triggering a negative response as much or more so than a positive response?

In the example listed above the creator had 14 dislikes to 14 likes... so does that mean that the video is going to get downgraded and lost in Search/Discovery because it's even? Nope. That isn't enough of a sample set for YouTube to focus on. Look at some of the other YouTube features in reference; how many views does it take before YT can show you when your audience is on platform? How many minutes of watchtime and subscribers do you have to earn before you can enter the YouTube Partner Program? It's a lot, right? Well it's gonna be a lot with the dislikes as well. If I were to start worrying about dislikes I may start when I hit 1,000... though even that is subjective. If my video has 50,000 thumbs up then 1,000 down means absolutely nothing. Well, not exactly nothing...


Engagement Is Engagement

And in all honesty this is the bottom line. YouTube views likes and dislikes equally and there is value in the action of taking a time to leave either a like or a dislike on a video. It acts as engagement and that is a positive thing in YouTube's eyes. Not all reactions are required to be positive, that would be ridiculous. Sometimes we need to talk about things that maybe people don't want to hear. Sometimes we need to approach things from an angle that people don't want to do. You can not make content that is going to be agreeable to everyone... but if you make conent that stands out regardless of opinion and you garner a dislike it is equally as engaging and valuable as someone else liking it and leaving a thumbs up. Literally, it is equally as valuable. The 14 and 14 mentioned above? That counts as 28 thumbs in YouTube's eyes. That troll did nothing but provide positive reinforcement for that video and he spent a lot of time providing it too.

It sucks getting that first dislike. Until that moment you are 100% loved by your viewers and everything is right in the world and then reality sets in. And that sucks. But there are several really amazing silver-linings to this scenario. It is, in the end all positive and you are now a member of a very elite club; those who have made content which spurred someone into an emotional response. Kudos, you deserve a pat on the back and warm welcome to the club!
 

kitchen c/o ammama

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Wowow ... This post is very much needed and a lot of questions have already popped up in the past and I am sure there will be in future and this post has answers !!!

Thank you for the mention !
 

Damo’s Paintings

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Another well written article! I got my first few dislikes through one of my short videos, did I care? No one ounce of care!

I get spam comments too, but I think they’re just bots that want to send viewers to dodgy erotic sites, those I block for sure.
 
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Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

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@kitchen c/o ammama absolutely and thank you ma'am!

@Damo’s Paintings I appreciate that sir, thank you. Comments is another that falls into a similar category... shortly after the thumb's down start rolling the nasty comments follow. As an exercise in masochism I would suggest to anybody who is faint of heart to practice posting your work to out-of-niche threads on Reddit in order to desensitize and prepare yourself for the rotten comments you are inevitably going to have to deal with. Because let's face it; if you can handle the crud from a pissed off Redditor you can handle anything.
 

Jbrame

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Thanks for the post. We currently have a disgruntled videographer that started with us but after a few weeks we just couldn’t work with. Since then he has clicked dislike on every video we have done. It’s petty but what can we do. We know it’s him because it happened right after he left and it’s from a subscriber who visits the channel for less than a few seconds just to click dislike.
 
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Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

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Ooooh yeah... everybody has that guy. All part of the game though.