One of the controversial moves made by YouTube to date is the decision to hide dislikes count on videos. Just a little browsing around and you’ll know that those that are against the move vastly outnumber those in favor of it. After all, dislikes count was a great way to tell if a piece of content was trustworthy or just another clickbaity video.
According to YouTube, the removal has been done in the interest of creators to protect them from harassment and coordinated attacks.
How ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ Browser Extension Works
Regardless, an innovative programmer has attempted to restore the function on YouTube by creating a browser extension for the same. It uses a YouTube API to generate the dislike count. The only catch here is that the API will be removing the dislikes property on December 13 or so, following which the extension will cease to work the way it currently does.
However, the developer has got another trick up their sleeve. The extension will begin to rely on its own userbase after it can no longer depend on YouTube’s API, using them as a sample. While this is quite innovative, there are concerns about the unofficial count being skewed by some.
This again is being looked into by the developer. One way to mitigate it could be by comparing downvotes of extension users to the cache of real downvotes and factoring them in. Of course, for this to be accurate, there would have to be a large userbase – something that we’ll surely see grow with time.
The extension named ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ by Dmitry Selivanov can be availed through its official site. It’s only available for Chrome and Firefox as of now, but the dev has said that it will also be coming to mobile soon. Do note that it is in the alpha stage currently and may therefore be buggy.