Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
ExpertiseStreaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation onlineCredentials
Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
YouTube Rewind 2018 became the site's most disliked video ever Thursday, just a week after its release.
The video hit 10 million dislikes early Thursday, according to LikesCounter, has been viewed more than 120 million times and has more than 2.1 million likes. Before Thursday, Justin Bieber's Baby was YouTube's most disliked video. Uploaded in 2010, it has 9.8 million dislikes, more than 2 billion views and 10 million likes.
An annual collection of YouTube's biggest pop culture moments and memes from the year, the latest Rewind was introduced by Will Smith and featured a long riff on
and an interlude intended to tout ways YouTube had a role in social good. It featured YouTubers like Ninja, Casey Neistat and Emma Chamberlain. But vocal segments of viewers united in disapproval.
YouTube's initial response to the dubious milestone was to say the company was "pleased with the results" because of the video's level of engagement. But, later Thursday, it issued a more chastened statement:
Dethroning "Baby" in dislikes wasn't exactly our goal this year. Honest feedback can suck, but we are listening and we appreciate how much people care. Trying to capture the magic of YouTube in one single video is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. We also learned that creating content can be really hard and this underscores our respect and admiration for YouTube creators doing it every day. Keep the feedback coming and maybe we'll release a top 10 list of "Rewind dislike" reaction videos.
The statement came with an animated GIF of SpongeBob SquarePants burying himself in sand.
One recurrent complaint centered on the omission of PewDiePie, YouTube's biggest channel with more than 76 million subscribers. Over the years, a YouTuber's inclusion in Rewind has come to signify validation of their influence. PewDiePie fans read his exclusion as a snub.
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