It’s no secret: YouTube comments can be offensive. In an attempt to corral that behavior, Google introduced Google+ commenting for YouTube, effectively tying the two services together. It’s been a few weeks, but the scope of such a move isn’t known yet. Does the new comments section cheapen Google+, or improve YouTube?
Conversely, does it improve anything at all? YouTube has long been a bastion for racist, sexist behavior in the comments section. Creating a hurdle for them to jump through doesn’t dilute the message much, but moderation does. Google has announced that they are going to be giving creators a better avenue to moderate comments, as well as a few automatic tools for detection of spam or impersonations.
According to a post on the YouTube creators blog, bulk moderation has long been requested, and those tools are “coming soon”. Google is also set to improve the ranking system for comments, and retrofit moderation. While they offered no details on “bulk moderation”, we’d like to think creators can block comments ahead of time with offensive language, links, or anything along those lines.
Google’s aim with introducing the Google+ commenting system was to put a stop to all those offensive comments, but it relies on moderation. As users, we can moderate who responds to our shares or comments via Google+, but for creators it’s not that easy. When it comes down to more popular videos, which get view counts of 100,000+, Google+ isn’t going to help much. That many views lend themselves to thousands of comments, and going through them one-by-one is just not feasible.
Though the comments section was always terrible, it didn’t affect YouTube much. The service was and is a go-to for video sharing, regardless of what Google feels the comments section should be. Happily, we can expect to avoid ASCII art in the future, and should be able to comment without being roundly scorned for no reason.