YouTube co-founder updates first-ever video to criticize removal of 'Dislike' button count

"When every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is. Try again, YouTube," he wrote on the video.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Jawed Karim, the American engineer who co-founded YouTube and was the first person to upload a YouTube video in history, spoke out on the company's decision to remove the "Dislike" button from videos.

Karim, who sold his share of stocks to YouTube for around $65 million in 2006, changed the description of the first YouTube video ever uploaded, to voice his displeasure. The video, titled "Me at the zoo", features Karim at the San Diego Zoo.

"When every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is. Try again, YouTube," he wrote recently on the video, which was originally uploaded all the way back in April of 2005.

The "Like" and "Dislike" buttons were introduce after Karim's departure, in September 2009, replacing the "stars" system. This was due to nearly all ratings on videos being rated either one or five stars.

Last week, YouTube announced that the dislike button would be hidden from videos to help protect creators from online harassment. The feature will still allow viewers to see the amount of dislikes they've received, however, and will only be hidden from the general audience.

A screenshot showing Karim's message

"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," the company said in a statement.

"We want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves. This is just one of many steps we are taking to continue to protect creators from harassment. Our work is not done, and we’ll continue to invest here."

Browser plug-ins have already popped up in order to remedy YouTube's largely unpopular decision. The plugin currently uses "the Google API to generate the dislike count."

"I’ll try to scrape as much data as possible until then," the plugin creator said in a Reddit post. "After that — total dislikes will be estimated using extension users as a sample."


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