YouTube Rewind 2018 is now the most hated video on YouTube after hitting over 10 million dislikes.
In fact, the video is at 11 million dislikes and counting. It seems that YouTube has struck a nerve with its fanbase on this video, but the question is, what could it be?
Let’s take a gander over at the video for starters. As with every year, "YouTube Rewind" is a look back at the memorable moments on YouTube for 2018. It starts with a celebrity (in this case Will Smith) tossing out the starting point of the video, which is Marques Brownlee and Fortnite--both are enormously popular, with Brownlee having 7.4 million subscribers to his technology-focused channel and Fortnite having taken over online gaming as we know it.
After appearing in the Fortnite bus (with streamer Ninja at the wheel, obviously), it’s a constant bombardment of big-name YouTubers from there. There’s also a whole bunch of appearances from cartoon channels (including the beloved Marcus the Spider), memes such as Bongo Cat, and even perennial favorites Yodeling Kid and Adam Rippon.
The video really should have stopped at the 4-minute mark, but then it kept going with a slow period where everyone talked about mental illness. Then it went right back to the parade of YouTubers before finally ending with the Primitive Tech guy making a Rewind logo out of clay.
Besides the fact the video went way too long, it doesn’t seem like it was all that offensive. And yet, YouTube Rewind 2018 already has more dislikes in less than 2 weeks than the next most hated video, Just Bieber’s “Baby”, has in nearly 9 years.
So what went wrong? As usual, we go to the comments.
"YouTube is so disconnected with their viewers now it’s not even funny," writes one user, while another comment reads, "They manage to make it worse every year."
But perhaps most telling of all is one user’s reply: "Wait...who are these people?"
Notably absent are some of YouTube’s biggest stars, such as PewDiePie, Shane Dawson, and Logan Paul. We can only make assumptions without any official response from YouTube, but it seems the streaming service deliberately kept them out of this year’s production to present a cleaner image for potential advertisers.
PewDiePie is a controversial figure with his ties to white supremacy, and Logan Paul is still persona-non-grata for his Suicide Forest debacle from earlier this year. The KSI vs. Logan Paul boxing match didn’t help his image either.
It could be that fans of YouTubers that didn’t make the cut are protesting with dislikes, or it could be that YouTube users are just a little tired of the self-serving nature of the Rewind series. More likely it’s a little bit of both.