YouTube CEO tells Ludwig she “knew” removing dislikes would be controversial

YouTube: Ludwig

YouTube star Ludwig sat down with the platform’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, to discuss some of the site’s recent moves — like removing dislike counts on videos.

YouTube notably removed dislike counts on all videos across its platform in November 2021, marking a huge change for content creators.

The site claimed that it made this adjustment to “reduce targeted dislike attacks and their impact on creators,” saying they “want to create an inclusive and respectful environment where creators have the opportunity to succeed and feel safe to express themselves.”

The removal was met with widespread discontent. Creators spoke out against hiding dislike counts, arguing that it could hinder their ability to discern what content their viewers want to see.

Susan Wojcicki speaks on YouTube removing dislike counts

Despite the backlash, the change is here to stay. Nearly half a year later, YouTube star Ludwig got the chance to bend CEO Susan Wojcicki’s ear on the controversial topic, which she says she knew would result in discontent.

“We knew it was going to be controversial,” she admitted. “We have to do what is the right thing for the ecosystem as a whole.”

Wojcicki went on to explain that the platform ran a bevy of experiments before ultimately deciding on making the change, claiming that YouTube needed to remove dislikes to support its many smaller creators.

Susan Wojcicki talks with Ludwig about YouTube dislikesYouTube: Ludwig
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki sat down with resident platform superstar Ludwig to discuss the site’s removal of dislike counts, among other topics.

“I understand there were people — many people, and yes, we heard loud and clear — why people were unhappy with that decision,” she continued.

“But then we also saw the impact that it was having on a lot of new creators, and that’s bad. We need to have, and continue to support, smaller creators and how they’re growing. That’s important for the long-term health of our ecosystem.”

“For decisions like that, we know it’s going to be tough, but we just power through it.”

(Topic begins at 17:57)

And yes, Susan does read Tweets and comments about YouTube, saying she sifts through the public feedback on social media to “note if there’s something here we haven’t thought about.”

Luckily, there is a way for creators to see how many dislikes their video received, thanks to a handy Chrome plugin that was popularized just after YouTube’s divisive dislike demolition.