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X People Missed the Like Button is a type of comment usually found on YouTube, in which the “x” represents the number of dislikes the video has accumulated at the time of the commenter’s viewing. The phrase can also be modified to take on a biased tone as to criticize the viewers who chose to dislike the video.
The comments regarding the like-to-dislike ratio of YouTube videos began to emerge sometime in January 2010, following the opt-in launch of YouTube’s new layout which replaced its old five-star rating system with a binary upvoting / downvoting option. The decision came a few months after YouTube’s official report published in September 2009, which found that most videos were given one or five stars based on its old rating system.
This new layout rolled out to all users at the end of March 2010, resulting in many users complaining about the new system on the official YouTube help forum and the Escapist forums. While the earliest instance of these comments is hard to ascertain, the first question about this type of comment was submitted to Yahoo! Answers on June 28th, 2010, which asked about the origin of the trend.
Threads discussing “missed the like button” comments have been posted on the Escapist forums, gaming community MafiaScum, 4chan’s /r9k/ (ROBOT9000) board and gaming forum GiantBomb. Most of these threads discussed the comments as a source of annoyance, with some posters even identifying it as one of the worst aspects of YouTube in user experience.
In July 2010, the comments were defined on Urban Dictionary as the “miss ‘like’ phenomenon” and the following month saw the launch of Facebook fan page “‘N people missed the like button.’ Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.” but only managed to receive 12 likes as of July 2012. In October 2010, Urlesque highlighted the derivatives of these types of comments, using the example of “people shall not pass” comment on a You Shall Not Pass video (shown below, right) and “Irishmen were too [drunk] and missed the like button” on a video for the Irish punk band Flogging Molly (shown below, right).
Throughout 2010, “missed the like button” comments (shown below, left) were posted in the interval of several minutes and its variants like “people who disliked this are” (shown below, right) were registered every hour.
As of July 2012, there are more than 1.2 million results for “missed the like button” on YouTube in comments as well as in video titles and descriptions, although it does not account for the instances of derivative phrases. Additionally, there have been 124 questions asked about “missed the like button” comments on Yahoo! Answers.