Scroll down below many YouTube videos and you’ll find an all-caps morass of misogyny, gay-bashing, and anti-Semitism—but that could all be about to change. The company has finally started to overhaul its commenting system, and it’s giving more control to the content creators, a move first announced back in September.
“You’ll see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles,” Nunda Janakiram and Yonatan Zunger explained in a blog post.
It’ll be a personalized experience for users, who can start conversations in the comments only viewable to people in their Circles.
Content creators will also be able to moderate the comments section more efficiently before they are published, which will be a tremendous help for many of the women on YouTube who have had to deal with sexual harassment, rape threats, stalking, and even doxing from their viewers.
Users are held more accountable for their comments with the anonymity that came with the old YouTube comments. Janakiram and Zunger noted that the majority of people on YouTube have already linked their accounts together and can start commenting. Otherwise, the comments are much like Google+ in which you can tag another user’s name and post your comment through the social network.
But the new commenting system isn’t perfect. There is still spam coming in with links that can now be posted into the comments and users could create Google+ accounts devoted to trolling on YouTube. And with unlimited space, users can write as much as they want but also post offensive typography art.
“There certainly will be an initial noise issue, judging by the current set of thumbs down and hate comments, but not worse that what the old cesspool could muster,” Lars Fosdal wrote.
Photo via MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr