YouTube Rewind 2018: Site's own recap video becomes the least popular ever

Justin Bieber has been 'disliked' more – but more people liked that, too

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 11 December 2018 15:14 GMT
YouTube Rewind 2018 video features some of the streaming service's top personalities

YouTube has managed to upload the site’s least popular video ever.

The company unveiled its Rewind 2018 video – an annual tradition in which it packs all of the year’s biggest moments into one post – last week. And it has already become notable in at least one respect: no video has ever been more unpopular.

It has been disliked some 8.2 million times, and that number is quickly rising. And the comments are full of YouTube users who are annoyed at the post.

The video has drawn criticism for failing some of YouTube’s biggest personalities, including PewDiePie, its most popular channel who has already spoken out against the video. And large parts of it are made up of people who are not famous through their YouTube posts, but through traditional media – such as John Oliver and Trevor Noah, who both appear in the video doing dances from Fortnite.

PewDiePie has also released a video railing at the intense focus on the game Fortnite in the video reflects badly on YouTube.

“I remember Rewind [was] something that seemed like an homage to the creators that year,” he says in a reaction video posted to his own channel. “It was something cool to be a part of.

“Now it’s like I’m almost glad I’m not in it, because it’s such a cringey video at this point. It’s so disconnected with the community and its creators.”

As well as PewDiePie, the video failed to include any mention of the fight between KSI and Logan Paul, two of its biggest stars that teamed up this year for a boxing match that was one of the biggest events in internet history. Neither of those vloggers appeared at all.

The Rewind video is still not strictly the most disliked video of all time: that questionable honour goes to Justin Bieber’s Baby, which is at 9.7 million downvotes. But that video still has vastly more likes, receiving 10 million of the small thumbs up, compared with only 2 million on YouTube’s own post.

And the Rewind has been online for just a short period, with the number of dislikes rocketing up. Users in the comments under the video are encouraging others to dislike it to push it over Bieber’s record, with many noting that only relatively few dislikes are needed.

The backlash against YouTube’s Rewind video comes amid increasing unrest about how the platform is run.

YouTubers including PewDiePie have argued that the site is leaving behind the creators that helped grow it, while others argue that it is inadvertently fueling extremist rhetoric by showing controversial videos. It has also been plagued by conspiracy theories about what channels it shows, which were exacerbated after a fatal shooting at its headquarters.

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