Browser extensions bring back the number of dislikes in YouTube videos

If you missed seeing the count of dislikes in YouTube videos, check out this browser extension, which may restore the function.

Dmitry Selivanov, a software developer, has created an open-source extension for Chrome and Firefox that can re-add dislikes to videos across YouTube.

According to the Chrome Web Store, the extension known as “Return YouTube Dislike” has already attracted more than 50,000 users. The software is an early alpha version, but it serves its purpose: load a YouTube video and the extension re-adds the number of dislikes to the clip.

Extension in action.
Extension in action.

The extension is capable of pulling the number of dislikes by accessing Google’s own YouTube API, which opens up third-party access to the video platform. So you should see the exact number of dislikes, not just a guess.

The bad news is that Google plans to shut down the API on December 13th As a result, Selivanov continues to save dislike numbers for various videos across the platform. Once the API goes offline, the extension will switch to “FAQ” to use estimates based on “View Dislike Statistics, Extrapolated Estimates from Extension User Data, and Dislike Archives for Videos and Views / Like Ratios for Older Disliked Archives”. .

So expect accuracy to decrease over time, especially for newly uploaded videos. In addition, the number of dislikes in the extension will not be shown in real-time. Instead, the current version of the software will update them once every two to three days.

Github page for extensions.

GitHub page for extensions.

Another issue is privacy concerns. To work, you need permission to read and modify extension data when your browser loads YouTube. The FAQ also notes that the extension will collect IDs for the videos that users are watching, but only on a collective level.

“We are not collecting any personal information,” Selivanov told PCMag in an email. “We don’t even know the exact number of users (numbers provided by the Chrome Store and the Firefox Store only) – since we don’t store anything user-related. We only store the number of dislikes that are publicly available. “

“Later, when we start collecting actual votes created by extension users – we will not store this data in a recognizable way – only anonymous IDs,” he added.

Selivanov created the extension because the number of dislikes helped him determine if he was eligible to watch a YouTube video. “I use YouTube for most of the educational videos and tutorials – so not being able to see the dislikes in these sections was quite a hindrance,” he said.

This is a feeling shared by many other users, including the co-founder of YouTube. Earlier this month, YouTube co-founder Javed Karim wrote, “The ability to easily and quickly identify bad content is an essential feature of a user-generated content platform.” He called the platform’s decision to remove the dislike count “stupid idea”.

Nevertheless, YouTube has decided to hide the function for the concern that the same feature is being misused for harassment. Now only one YouTube clip uploader can personally see the number of dislikes in their videos through the platform’s official system.

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