In a ‘Creator Insider’ video aimed at YouTube content makers, project management director Tom Leung gingerly broached the subject of removing the “dislike” button – but only to combat trolls, he stressed. Users were not amused.

Leung was careful to emphasize that he was merely sharing an “early conversation” that had been “lightly discussed” – and that censorship was only a last-ditch necessity for combating the menace of the so-called “dislike mobs.”

As cringingly apologetic as Leung was – to “remove dislikes entirely from YouTube,” he admitted, was “a very extreme option” and “not super democratic” – Twitter lost no time tearing him apart. “Dislike mobs” are merely “brigading” by another name, a phenomenon YouTube previously ignored, and many suspected it was the matter of who was getting brigaded that had raised YouTube’s hackles.

Many assumed it was the embarrassing ratio on YouTube’s 2018 “rewind” video that was getting under the platform’s skin…

While others assumed their motives were more…political

Others tried constructive criticism

…and constructive sarcasm

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The more perceptive users reminded YouTube that the dislike button on comments stopped working long ago.

Others found it telling that “dislike mobs” were a criminal offense when the platform had harbored fake “likes” for years with no protest.

And some creators genuinely couldn’t understand why YouTube would ditch a helpful feature.

Others genuinely… couldn’t understand.

Perhaps inevitably, Leung’s video soon piled up more dislikes than likes.

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