Jawed Karim is one of three YouTube founders. He has criticised YouTube’s decision not to allow dislikes on videos. This he claimed will make YouTube a place where ‘everything is mediocre’, and cause its demise. 

YouTube decided to conceal the number clicks of other users who clicked on the thumbs down icon below videos in protest.

YouTube said the change will prevent groups of malicious YouTube users from deliberately going after other users by bumping up the dislike count on their videos – what it called ‘coordinated dislike attacks’. 

But according to Karim, the ability to easily and quickly identify bad content is ‘an essential feature’ on YouTube, and taking this away could lead to the site’s decline.

Karim made his displeasure known by editing the description of the first ever video uploaded to YouTube – entitled ‘Me at the zoo’ – in which he stars as a 25-year-old. 

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Jawed Karim, one of the three founders of YouTube, appeared in the first video ever uploaded to YouTube, on April 23, 2005. Pictured is a still from the video, which is entitled 'Me at the zoo'

 Jawed Karim, one of the three founders of YouTube, appeared in the first video ever uploaded to YouTube, on April 23, 2005. Here is an image of the clip, titled “Me in the zoo”.


YouTube announced on November 10 that it was hiding dislike scores in videos.

Video users can still click the dislike button.

They can only see the dislikes of each video if they upload it.  

Studio Analytics has an option for creators to see the dislike count, located under the Engagement tab. 

YouTube tested hiding dislikes in 2021. The change proved to be successful in reducing “coordinated hate attacks”. 

It was November 10th that the changes began to roll out.  

Karim, now 42, founded YouTube with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen in February 2005, but it was sold to Google less than two years later. 

“Why would YouTube create such a hated change?” says Karim in the updated description. “There’s a reason for this, but it is not good enough and will not be made public.” 

A platform that allows users to create content from their own content must have the ability to identify and remove bad content quickly. Why? Why? 

YouTube made the announcement that they would not reveal dislike numbers to the public in a blog posting on November 10. 

Matt Koval is YouTube’s ‘creator liaison.’ He also discusses the decision in video. 

As Koval explains, the dislike button is staying where it is, so users can still hit the thumbs down if they don’t like a video, but how many dislikes a video has is only visible to the video’s creator. 

YouTube creators who have videos that get a higher number of dislikes could be negatively affected, which can lead to a decrease in income. 

‘Unfortunately, research teams at YouTube has found there’s this whole other use for disliking a video that I had never experienced,’ Koval says.

On November 10, YouTube said it is hiding dislike counts on videos on the basis that groups of users can use it to harm creators

YouTube stated that it hides dislike scores on YouTube videos because it believes groups of users could use it to harm creators.

“Apparently, groups of viewers have targeted a video’s like button in an effort to increase the dislike. [dislike]count and make it look like a game. It’s often because they don’t like their creator or the values they hold.

But Koval seems to address the decision without much passion, prompting Karim to say in his post: ‘I have never seen a less enthusiastic, more reluctant announcement of something that is supposed to be great.’

Karim compared Koval’s announcement to footage of US soldier and prisoner of war Jeremiah Denton, who famously blinked the word ‘torture’ using Morse code in a Vietnamese propaganda video in 1966.  

‘The spoken words did not match the eyes,’ Karim writes.  

Karim never actually had a formal role at YouTube, according to the New York Times, before it was sold to Google in October 2006 for $1.65 billion.

After the platform was bought out, Karim perused a master’s degree in computer science at Stanford University. 

He is a YouTube legend despite this. His appearance in the original YouTube video was his first.  

YouTube uploaded ‘Me At the Zoo’ on April 23 2005. It only lasts 18 second.

Karim, who is shown standing in front an exhibit of elephants at San Diego Zoo tells the camera that they have “really long trunks”. 

YouTube has uploaded many more video clips over the past 16 years. 


“Watching Matt Koval announce the deletion of dislikes made me think that something was wrong.

It was difficult to see the difference between spoken and written words. This video reminds me of the 1966 interview given by Admiral Jeremiah Denton. Never have I seen an announcement that was more cautious and enthusiastic about something so great.

It is impossible to call the elimination of dislikes good for creators without having conflict with someone holding the title “YouTube’s Creator Liaison.” Because we know that YouTube creators are not convinced that it is good to remove dislikes, whether for YouTube itself or its Creators.

YouTube makes this widely disliked change. Although there is a reason for this, it’s not good and will not be made public. Instead, you will find references to other studies. These studies seem to contradict common sense for every YouTuber.

An essential component of any user-generated platform is the ability to identify and remove bad content quickly. Why? It’s because not all user generated content is great. This is impossible. It isn’t good. It’s fine. It was not the idea that every content could be good. The truth is that in the sea of content there are many great creations just waiting to be discovered. For that to happen, you need to let go of the bad stuff as soon as possible.

It works and has a name: wisdom of the crowds. If the platform disrupts this process, it breaks down. The platform will then decline. YouTube does not want to degrade into a place that is boring. You can’t have great things if you don’t like bad.

There is only one important thing in business: “Make it more profitable.” And that’s “Don’t f**k it up”.’