The most disliked YouTube Video

Before people start complaining “old news”, I’d like to preface when this was happening in real time I was at sea with no internet access.

The Video

Yes, that’s right folks. The most disliked video was created by YouTube or more precisely by a production company “Portal A” for YouTube. Which video did it beat out to take the top rank? The “Baby” music video by Justin Bieber (10 million dislikes) – at least it had a ratio of 1:1 like to dislike. Rewind 2018 only has 2 million likes to it’s 14 million (and counting) dislikes.

First Take – Reaction

From just watching it without any context, the video doesn’t seem too bad. Here are my initial thoughts as I watched it:

  • Hey look it’s Will Smith! He hasn’t been relevant in a while.
  • Will, is that really what you wanted?
  • Who are all these YouTube celebs in the bus? Why should I care about them? #GettingOld
  • All these quick cuts are making me nauseous, but I can see why it would cater to the ADHD younger generation.
  • So much token diversity representation
  • *Googles Bongo Cat* – Here’s what I found
  • Why are there American late night TV show hosts on this?!?!
  • Frivolous SJW inspiration campfire chat *cringe*
  • YouTube Comments – One of the most toxic parts of the internet

Second Take – Understanding the Context

So then I started reading and watching the reactions to the video including one of the people I do actually recognise MKBHD who succinctly summarises the problem:

If you didn’t watch Marques’s video, the biggest reason for the flop is the disconnect between the purpose of the video:

  1. Showcasing ‘The year that was’ to the community
  2. Showcasing ‘Reach and effectiveness of ads’ to advertisers

Third Take – Down the Rabbit Hole

But it still doesn’t explain the sheer amount of negativity, and down the rabbit hole I went. Also so you won’t have to.

Here is the top 10 YouTube earners of 2018 (according Forbes). I had no idea who the majority of them were. But comparing the credits of the Rewind video to the top 10 list, I found that only ONE top 10 YouTube earner made a cameo in the video. Which means these fanbases would likely be a little ‘salty’.

So a few noteworthy people and events from my trip down the rabbit hole of the YouTube community:

  • Shane Dawson (not in Rewind) who made documentaries about fellow YouTube stars, one of which included one of the Paul brother (earners number 2 and 10)…
  • Jake Paul (not in Rewind) who created an influencer marketing agency with their morally grey activities of targeting children. Then there is his brother…
  • Logan Paul (not in Rewind) who featured in the biggest YouTube pay per view boxing match of the year KSI vs Logan Paul and went to Japan’s Suicide Forest where he found a corpse and handled the matter extremely immaturely
  • Pewdiepie (not in Rewind + earner #9) – had multiple controversies around racism

No wonder YouTube didn’t want to promote these guys to advertisers.

At this point I had to stop myself from looking any further, as the internet drama and celebrity culture around YouTubers is the reason why I stayed away from the community.


I hope this paints the picture, of how 2018 generated the most disliked YouTube video:

A gap in the expectation of the purpose of the video + The toxicity of the most popular/highest earning stars of the platform