Software developer Dmitry Selivanov has created an open-source extension for Chrome and Firefox that brings back YouTube’s dislike counter.
According to a report from The Times of India, the Chrome Web Store has reported that the extension — called “Return YouTube Dislike” — has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.
Google plans to shut down the extension, which uses the company’s own YouTube API to provide accurate dislike counts, on 13 December.
However, Selivanov has begun recording dislike counts for videos across the platform to counter the shutdown.
The extension 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from extension user data and estimates based on view/like ratios for videos whose dislikes weren’t archived and for outdated dislike archives”, according to its FAQ.
Without access to the actual dislike counts from YouTube’s API, the accuracy of the dislike counts is expected to worsen over time. The report also stated that users would ultimately not be able to view the dislike count in real-time.
In addition to the Chrome and Firefox extension hubs, Selivanov’s addon can also be downloaded from its GitHub page. Follow these steps to install it:
- Open your browser and navigate to the extension’s website.
- Click on Install and select your browser.
- Open a YouTube video and refresh the page to show the dislike count.
It is important to note that the extension requires permission to read and change data when you stream YouTube videos on the browser.
“We’re not collecting any private data. We don’t even know the exact number of users (only the numbers provided by Chrome store and Firefox store)—since we don’t store anything user-related. We only store publicly available dislike counts,” Selivanov told PCMag.
“Later, when we start collecting actual votes made by extension users—we won’t be storing this data in an identifiable way—just anonymous IDs.”
YouTube recently removed visible dislike counts, explaining that the feature was being abused to harass especially smaller creators on the platform.
Since Google implemented the change, only the channel owners can see the dislike count of their videos through their channel dashboard.