While YouTube has removed all Dislikes from the public eye, third party browser extensions have sprung up to bring them back to users.
Editor’s Note: All third-party browser extensions are installed at the user’s own risk. None of the browser extensions mentioned in the following article an endorsement.
As previously reported, YouTube announced they were making all Dislikes on a videos private. While creators could see their full metrics, users can now only see how many likes and views a video got- assuming the creator has allowed likes to be seen.
The move has come under some scrutiny. While Google claimed it was to prevent targeted attacks of mass Dislikes, some suspect the move was to protect controversial adverts, politicians, and even YouTube themselves with their often loathed yearly YouTube Rewind videos. Other expressed concerns it would be harder for others to know if a video was deceptive, or low-quality prior to watching.
It would seem that there is a way to still see dislikes however. Multiple browser extensions to display Dislikes once more have appeared for Chrome [1, 2] (and Chrome-based browsers), and other browsers such as Firefox [1, 2]. The most popular of these appears to be Return Youtube Dislike by Dmitry Selivanov.
Selivanov explains that the data is obtained via a “combination of GoogleAPI data and scraped data.” This is updated once every 2 to 3 days. While Selivanov expects the API will eventually be shut down, their database will continue to be used. Even then, it seems user’s own data may help predict what the Dislikes are.
“The backend will switch to using a combination of archived dislike stats, estimates extrapolated from extension user data and estimates based on view/like ratios for videos whose dislikes weren’t archived and for outdated dislike archives.”