Not many people can claim to have broken a YouTube record, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Whether you’re a musician or a traditional vlogger, there isn’t a creator out there that doesn’t dream of the day one of their videos becomes the most-liked on the platform (a crown that Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee snatched in 2017), but nobody wants their name linked to the opposite end of the spectrum. To have a video that is among the most-disliked videos ever is not a good look, unless you made that video with the sole purpose of getting dislikes, which one of the creators we’re going to cover actually did. The same cannot be said for the rest, however.
From huge YouTubers who messed up big time to singers that millions of people wish would shut up, we’ve got the lowdown on the lot. These are some of the most-disliked YouTube videos ever.
The first K-pop act to really make it big in America is BTS, but back in 2012, the United States and the rest of the world were formerly introduced to the wonderful world of K-pop via a man named Psy. Viral sensation "Gangnam Style" poked fun at the type of people who like to hang out in Seoul’s trendiest district (that would be Gangnam), though that message was lost on many YouTube users. The lyrics got "lots of laughs at the expense of rich people in a neighborhood of a city of a country few Westerners could have previously found on a map, let alone found funny," Vulture reported.
The fact that the majority of people outside of South Korea couldn’t understand most of what Psy was saying didn’t change the fact that it was an incredibly catchy tune. You couldn’t escape "Gangnam Style" for what seemed like forever — the official video became so popular that it literally broke YouTube. Psy’s horse dance became so well-known that it became considered highly uncool and was swiftly buried in the dead meme graveyard. "Part of the fun in any internet meme is its geeky exclusivity," Time pointed out, and "Gangnam Style" simply became too big for its own good. With more than 2.1 million dislikes, the official music video is the twelfth most-disliked video on YouTube as of December 2018.
Logan Paul’s apology
Logan Paul was on top of the world as 2017 drew to a close, but his end of year trip to Japan would end up costing him dearly. The in-your-face vlogger made a general nuisance of himself, swinging a raw octopus around on Tokyo’s busiest pedestrian crossing and throwing a giant Pokemon ball at people in the street. He probably would have gotten away with it all had he decided against heading out to Aokigahara Forest, a notorious spot for suicides. As dumb luck would have it, Paul and his posse stumbled across the body of a recently deceased man and decided to vlog it. The backlash was instantaneous, as Paul later explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
"I’m getting texts from friends, family, colleagues, accomplices," he said. "I’m like, wow, I really f***** up, to a degree that this may be the only thing people remember me by, and that is my worst nightmare." Paul swore that he was a changed man when he sat down with THR in October 2018, and he also acknowledged that he maybe could have handled his apology a little better. "You could tell in the video, I’m like, f****** tired," he said. "It’s horrible." Paul’s apology video (which was heavily criticized, both in the YouTube community and on Twitter, per Hello Giggles) has been disliked 2.2 million times to date.
Masha and the Bear
How did an episode of a Russian kids TV show make it into the top ten most-disliked YouTube videos? It’s actually a byproduct of just how many people have viewed the episode in question, titled "Recipe for Disaster." Some 3.3 billion people have watched a mischievous little girl named Masha attempt to make her own porridge (she doesn’t like the kind fixed up by the Bear, her hapless landlord), making this the only non-music video among YouTube’s most-watched. Only a fraction of those 3.3 billion people disliked the episode (at least 2.2 million YouTube users have given it the thumbs down), but that’s enough to earn it a place on both lists — most-watched and most-disliked.
Loosely based on a Russian folk tale, Masha and the Bear is just one of countless kids shows that can now be found on YouTube, which has "emerged as an alternative to traditional children’s TV," The Guardian reports. "Although it’s probably more accurate to say that the two are merging: plenty of popular children’s TV shows are now on YouTube in some form, while to young viewers — many on tablets — it’s all just ‘video.’" It’s become convenient for parents to use YouTube as "a babysitter and playmate" according to Tech Crunch, which warned against the dangers of giving children unfettered access to the platform.
Aruan Felix destroys his YouTube award
YouTube gives out awards to creators who reach certain milestones with their channels. Hit 100,000 subscribers, and you’ll be sent a Silver Play Button, though what you choose to do with it is entirely up to you. For the majority of people, a Silver Play Button would take pride of place in their office or home, but for Brazilian YouTuber Aruan Felix, it simply wasn’t good enough. Upon receiving his Silver Play Button, Felix told his subscribers that all he was interested in was getting the Gold Play Button, which you’re awarded when you hit a million subs.
What did Felix do with his Silver Play Button? He destroyed it in a 2015 video titled Cortando o Botão do YouTube, cutting it open to find out what was inside. "I didn’t do this because I’m stupid or anything," Felix said, according to YouTube translator, TheGeladoo. "This button was holding me back with only 100,000 people, and I don’t want just 100,000 people. That’s why I had to break it." The South American internet sensation clearly thought this would come off as ambitious, but instead, he came off looking ungrateful. More than 2.5 million people have disliked his video, making it the ninth most-disliked on YouTube overall.
Wap Bap blues for Bibi
German fashion and beauty vlogger Bianca Heinicke (better known as Bibi H from the channel BibisBeautyPalace) went viral in 2017, but not in a pretty way. The music video for her debut song "How It Is (Wap Bap…)" quickly became one of the most disliked videos on YouTube, wracking up a whopping 2.2 million dislikes in its first month alone. "Kind of a scary thought, that that many people would despise you," fellow YouTuber Pyrocynical says in his review video. "This experience is much like getting a wisdom tooth removed."
Over on Reddit, the Heinicke was accused of plagiarism, among other things. "Her pronunciation is bad, the lyrics are absurd and are in stark contrast to the mood of the song, the melody is a cheap rip-off of ‘The Show‘ by Lenka, her outfits don’t fit the style and targeted audience of the song and she straight up isn’t a good singer," said Bumaye94.
It’s hard to argue with any of that, but Bibi was trying to remain positive when she spoke to Metro about the severe backlash. "It is very easy to spread your negative opinion on the internet," she said. "You can’t expect everyone to like the things you do or the music you like."
Gotta get down on Friday
Long before Bibi H was being trolled for releasing a terrible song, there was Rebecca Black. Back in 2011, Black’s mom and dad decided to indulge their 13-year-old daughter’s desire to become a pop star by paying for her to have a music video produced by the Ark Music Factory, a Hollywood-based company that "charges wealthy parents a fee in return for the chance to turn their offspring into stars," The Independent reported. "Friday" was soon dubbed the worst song ever, with respected music outlets such as Rolling Stone calling it out for "sub-par production values, grating hooks and extraordinarily stupid lyrics."
Sadly, these comments were kind compared to the abuse Black received online. "I hope you cut yourself and I hope you get an eating disorder so you’ll look pretty and I hope you go cut and die," one hater reportedly told the teen (via TMZ). As much as she wanted to ignore it, Black was no match for the trolls as those dislikes continued to stack up. "I saw everything," she recalled when she sat down with the BBC in 2018. "When I started reading those negative comments I just couldn’t stop, I just kept going and going and going. People commenting don’t think a real person has to read this and move on with their day." That TGIF tune has been disliked more than 3.3 million times to date.
Des… Pa… Cito
At this point, pretty much everyone has heard the song "Despacito," whether it’s the original by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber’s version, or one of the countless covers available on YouTube. The music video for the original, Spanish-language version became the most-watched video of 2017 in 40 different countries and would ultimately become the most-viewed YouTube video in history. "Breaking the record for most-viewed video of all time is a massive achievement," YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, said (via Forbes). "Huge congrats to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee in reaching this milestone — it truly demonstrates the power of YouTube in providing artists a place to express their creativity and connect with fans across the globe."
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee probably wouldn’t appreciate being mentioned in the same breath as Bibi H and Rebecca Black, but their music video actually has more dislikes than both "How It Is (Wap Bap…)" and "Friday" on YouTube, despite being named the most-viewed video on the platform. Why have 3.7 million people disliked this upbeat summer hit? According to Classic FM, it simply becomes very annoying, very quickly. "If you hear 60 seconds of it, it’s great. You get a few iterations of the chord pattern, the chorus, the chatty verse, a bit of widdly Spanish guitar … Repeated listens, however, will always be a test."
Activision at war with Call of Duty fans
The fifth most-disliked YouTube video of all time isn’t a vlog or a music video. It’s a reveal trailer for Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. When the video dropped on YouTube in 2016, it was met with immediate resistance from fans, despite the publisher’s attempts to placate them. "Infinite Warfare returns to the roots of the franchise where large-scale war and cinematic, immersive military storytelling take center stage," the video description claims, though gamers weren’t buying it. What many fans saw was the franchise continuing to move away from its roots, and they launched a dislike campaign against the reveal trailer as a form of protest.
The issue, as far as die-hard Call of Duty fans were concerned, was that Infinite Warfare took place during a future (and therefore entirely fictitious) war as opposed to a historical one. "We know that there are people in our community who are nostalgic for the boots-on-the-ground-style gameplay, and that’s why we made Modern Warfare Remastered," Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said when word of the mounting number of dislikes reached him (via Kotaku). "But we also have millions of people in our community who want to have new innovative experiences in the game each year and Infinite Warfare is going to deliver that."
Can this video get 1 million dislikes?
PewDiePie is the ultimate YouTube success story, but the famous Swede has also been a thorn in the company’s side at times. Real name Felix Kjellberg, this small-time gamer turned YouTube superstar has the most popular channel on the platform with more than 78 million subscribers. Indian music label T-Series threatened to overtake him in 2018, but PewDiePie’s fans and even his rivals made sure that didn’t happen. The controversial content creator isn’t afraid to use his huge following to his advantage, and he used them to make a powerful point in 2016.
PewDiePie didn’t just release "Can this video get 1 million dislikes" to prove that it could (it actually has in excess of 3.8 million dislikes, making it the fourth most-disliked video on YouTube to date.) He posted the video to draw attention to changes in YouTube algorithms — changes he didn’t approve of. "Apparently ‘likes’ doesn’t mean s***," Kjellberg claims, getting serious for a second. "We’ve been liking videos for nothing. Fantastic. Now it’s all about watch time, and making you keep watching more videos. No one really knows what’s going on on YouTube anymore."
It’s Everyday Bro with the Disney Channel flow
From his alleged past as a school bully to his total disregard for his neighbors, Jake Paul (the younger brother of shamed vlogger Logan Paul) is one of YouTube’s most polarizing figures. In 2017, that divide was highlighted by the response to Jake’s rap song "It’s Everyday Bro." YouTube diss tracks were big at the time, so Jake decided to go after his ex, fellow YouTuber Alissa Violet.
The official video for "It’s Everyday Bro" has been viewed more than 225 million times. That’s a staggering figure, but it’s not the most telling one — the video only has 2.6 million likes versus 4.1 million dislikes, making it the third most-disliked video on the entire platform as of December 2018. The production value of the video itself is there, but the music leaves a lot to be desired. "The best way to characterize those bars? Corny and cliché AF," The Musical Hype said in a scathing review. "The Disney Channel line clearly eliminates any sense of credibility the Ohioan has. True, he’s doing mad numbers on YouTube, but still, how many more rappers — or faux rappers — are going to brag about a Rolex?"
Baby, baby, baby
It seems like a lifetime ago that Justin Bieber was trying to launch a music career via YouTube, posting songs and covers to his channel. "It had a hundred views, then a thousand views, then ten thousand views, so I just kept posting more videos and more videos," he told ABC News in 2009. Bieber caught the attention of Usher, who (after winning a bidding war with Justin Timberlake) managed to sign the Canadian teen. In 2010, Bieber released "Baby," a collaboration with rapper Ludacris. The music video has been watched more than 2 billion times on YouTube, but for a long time, it held the record for the most-disliked video on the platform, with more than 10 million people giving it the thumbs-down treatment.
"He had a couple of years of bad press, which turned quite a lot of people against him," Jacaranda FM reported. "And what do people do when they don’t like someone? They go online and try to bring them down." The gap between "Baby" and the nearest contender was so large that it seemed as though Bieber would be there forever, but in 2018, he was bumped off the bottom by…
Everyone controls rewind? Bad idea
Ironically, it was YouTube itself that dethroned Justin Bieber. Every year the company releases what it calls the Rewind video, which is supposed to be a recap of all the big events that took place in the YouTube community over the past 12 months. The warning signs were there the previous year: The 2017 Rewind video became the 13th most disliked YouTube clip in history with 2.1 millions dislikes to date, but 2018’s Rewind blew that and every other video we’ve mentioned out of the water, storming to the top of this most undesirable chart. With more than 14 millions dislikes, it doesn’t look like Rewind 2018 will relinquish the crown any time soon, but then again, there’s always Rewind 2019 to look forward to.
Why did YouTube’s 2018 Rewind video bomb so hard? There are multiple reasons, but in a nutshell, it was Will Smith, Fortnite, and advertisers. Much of the YouTube community questioned Smith’s prominence in the Rewind video, considering he joined YouTube in 2018 and hadn’t done anything groundbreaking on the platform. There were a lot of references to the game Fortnite, and critics also took issue with YouTube’s target audience. Marques Brownlee (a tech YouTuber featured in the 2018 Rewind video) admitted that Rewind is now more about showcasing clean, family-friendly creators to suck in advertisers than it is about celebrating the biggest YouTube moments.