YouTube no longer allows you to see dislikes on videos, which can be important information in determining whether or not a video is trustworthy or accurate. Though it comes with some caveats, you can restore dislikes with a browser extension.
Restore YouTube Dislikes With a Browser Extension
You can restore dislikes on YouTube in just a few clicks with a browser extension imaginatively called Return YouTube Dislike. Currently, the extension can be installed on Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave as a native application.
Firefox and Chrome use their own native versions of the app, while the other listed browsers are all compatible with the Chrome version. Some browsers like Edge may require that you allow extensions from other stores before you can do this.
If you use another browser then all hope is not lost. There’s a userscript available for the Tampermonkey add-on, which should allow the extension to work in the desktop version of Safari. You can also install an iOS tweak for jailbroken devices if you happen to use one of those.
Once you’ve installed the extension on your browser of choice, simply head to a YouTube video to see the like-to-dislike ratio.
Not a Completely Accurate Tally of Dislikes
The extension works using a combination of cached data that was grabbed before YouTube disabled access to the dislike function in its API, and extrapolated user behavior. This means that the number of dislikes on any given video will not be correct, but the ratio should be somewhat accurate.
Everyone who uses the extension contributes data to help determine the ratio, which means that the extension author is gathering information about the videos you watch. Only content creators can see the “true” number of likes and dislikes their videos receive, and there are plans to allow creators to share this information with the extension in the future.
How accurate much of this data remains over the long term depends on how many people use and contribute their data. Tech YouTube channel LinusTechTips compared its own counts with counts supplied by the extension and found that they were mostly accurate.
This is about as good as can be hoped for when extrapolating values based on behavior and historic data. It might help you avoid a scam or inaccurate how-to, which is one of the main concerns voiced by those who opposed YouTube’s move to disable the ratio in the first place.
Gauging Video Quality on YouTube
YouTube disabled like-to-dislike ratios in response to brigading and mass dislike campaigns leveled at some creators not for the quality of the content but due to targeted attacks. While this is a valid concern, the move also knocked out one of the only metrics for gauging a video’s worth on the platform.
YouTube now recommends that viewers resort to the comments instead. This is the platform that gave birth to the “never read the comments” meme, and so many creators now disable comments to combat spam and hate already.
It looks like YouTube will be leaning heavily on users reporting comments in the future if this is going to work out.