YouTube Hand More Comment Control Over to Channel Creators

Brandcast Media
It's a well documented fact that YouTube comment threads are nasty, soul-destroying places where common decency goes to die. I'm pretty sure that's written somewhere in the Doomsday book. Like all kinds of trolling, there's no direct way of dealing with it which doesn't throw a few gusts behind the 'freedom of speech' flag, but there are ways to stem the tide.

YouTube has had a comment moderation system in place since 2013, but that just let channel owners keep comments with certain keywords back for further examination before they went live. Thanks to a new upgrade which went out late last week, a deeper, more versatile system is now in place.

Channel creators will now have their usernames highlighted when they reply to comments (or comment on their own) videos, as well as pinning comments to the top of the feed. The idea is to allow creators to more easily interact with their subscribers and just generally make the whole experience feel more fluid. They can even favourite particular comments, increasing their chance of standing out.

Essentially then, it's turning something which used to be in the hands of the whole community into something that channel owners largely preside over. While you could argue that it's a step backwards, we've all seen the kinds of comments which get heavily upvoted on YouTube, and we've all emptied out the puke bucket afterwards.

It's only been a few months since YouTube Community dropped, operating under a similar ethos, but even with the success of that still wearing a 'TBC' baseball cap, it's a fair to say that handing over more reach to channel owners is a smart move.

On top of this, the comment reviewing system has been updated, but that's only accessible as an opt-in beta at the moment. Like the old system, it scans for key blacklist words and then those comments are held back from going live until the video/channel owner has okayed them, but now the algorithm can flag any comment which looks like it might even have the potential to be inappropriate.

Changes like this will only beget more, similar upgrades, as it seems like Google have decided that YouTube is their most viable social media platform at the moment. Some have pointed out that a lot of the comment/channel features which have appeared bear a more than passing resemblance to Google plus. Funny, that.

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