YouTube Rewind 2018 Leads To Extreme Backlash


Jenna Miller, Editor in Chief

At the end of every year, YouTube releases a video compiling together all the influential content creators, videos, and phenomena that defined the online community over the past year. These videos, dubbed “YouTube Rewind”, have always caused division among netizens — but the YouTube Rewind of 2018 is especially notorious as it received the most negative feedback of any installment in the annual series. In fact, within a mere week of uploading the video, it skyrocketed to become the most disliked video in the history of YouTube. The video currently has over 10 million dislikes on YouTube as of the publication of this article, surpassing the dislike count of the music video to Justin Bieber’s saccharine 2009 pop hit “Baby.”


What about the Rewind caused it to receive such many dislikes? While there is no one concrete reason, many different factors have caused internet users from all around the world and in all sorts of subcommunities to meet it with backlash. Many of the controversies that shook up the platform, such as those involving YouTube stars Logan Paul and PewDiePie, are excluded from the video in order to ensure that such controversies are not reignited. This seems like it might be something beneficial, but to the Internet community they were upset that such moments were not touched upon in the video. The reason why was because the Rewind, instead of focusing on YouTube’s own creators who seldom do work outside of the platform and gained fame solely via it, chose to feature mainstream celebrities who are famous even outside of YouTube such as Will Smith, Jon Oliver, Casey Neistat, Lilly Singh, and Liza Koshy. Many were especially upset about the lack of Shane Dawson, a YouTuber who released a docuseries about Jake Paul that became popular and well-liked among YouTube viewers and changed the landscape of the platform.

Others believed the video contained “too much Fortnite” and “too much K-pop” as opposed to equally giving all the YouTube trends of 2018 representation. Even the controversial PewDiePie himself criticized the video for the aforementioned reasons.

The video, many concluded, was created to appeal to advertisers more than to the YouTube community, which is why it featured oversaturation of trends and mainstream celebrities as opposed to influential creators whose claim to fame was nothing but YouTube.

In a Tweet posted by YouTube after the video reached the record-breaking amount of dislikes, YouTube said, “Thanks to the creators that took part in Rewind, and the community that responded. We hear what you’re saying, and we want to make next year better for all of you. Watch this space!”

Hopefully YouTube will live up to their words – and the YouTube Rewind for 2019 won’t make the same mistakes the 2018 Rewind did.