Google plans a fix for YouTube comment trolls

Low-quality, offensive comments have been a problem for the popular video site, but those days may be over.

Mar 3, 2020, 4:54 am*

Internet Culture


Kris Holt

The comments section on YouTube comments are often full of cruel jibes, racist attacks, and illegible drivel—not to mention all the debates about Justin Bieber.

As YouTube tries to reposition itself as a dominant player in the premium content market, it’s looking at ways to silence the trolls and greatly improve comment quality.

At parent company Google’s I/O developer conference this week, Dror Shimshowitz, YouTube’s head of product, let slip that the site is working on ways to improve comments. Though YouTubers can turn off comments completely, Google would prefer they didn’t, as it impacts the community.

Shimshowitz said YouTube hopes to have an update to the comment system ready within the next few months, according to Wired. However, he declined to elaborate on that statement.

An obvious way for YouTube to improve commenting would be to make YouTubers more accountable for what they say. Google already has a fairly solid identity system in the form of Google+, though deeply integrating Google+ comments into YouTube may not be easy due to technical concerns.

In fact, YouTube is already making changes to how people identify themselves, with the news that you can replace your YouTube username with your Google identity.

Back in March, reports emerged that Google was working on a Google+ comment system which can be installed on other websites, similar to Disqus or Livefyre. Google+ and YouTube already have deep ties, so bringing that rumored comment system to YouTube would make sense.

Until the improved system is in place, we’ll just have to put up with 9/11 conspiracy theories and jibes about Bieber’s sexuality.

If only more YouTubers would embrace Erik Hoffstad’s Internet Comment Etiquette lessons.

Photo by emilydickinsonridesabmx

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*First Published: Jun 29, 2012, 1:31 pm