Are These The YouTube Comment Fixes Users Are Looking For?

    November 26, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Earlier this month, Google launched a new commenting system on YouTube powered by Google+. Google said in its announcement that the “comments you care about” would move to the top. The new system also enabled private conversations to take place around videos, and offered new tools for comment review.

The new system was simply “better,” according to Google. As you may have heard, a lot of people disagreed.

Do you think YouTube’s new commenting has improved the experience? Do you think the new system will be fine if Google can work out the kinks? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Of course there have been petitions set up to protest the changes. One at Change.org has 215,385 supporters as of the time of this writing.

Internet security industry veteran Graham Cluely, who often voices his thoughts on major changes to web products, wrote about how the new system opened up the spam floodgates.

“There’s an obvious drawback though,” he writes. “Google+ allows you to post links. Which means, it’s easier than ever for spammers, make-money-fast-scammers and malware-spreaders to get airtime for their dangerous or irritating links.”

“Of course, this may not be a technique which works in the long term as (hopefully) Google+ will suspend accounts which repeatedly abuse the system,” Cluley adds. “That may sound like a solution to you, but it’s actually going to be a right pain in the neck if you’re unlucky enough to have your online accounts compromised, and exploited by spammers who want to use *your* name to spread their spam messages across social networks.”

He mentions how one video provider with 16 million subscribers disabled comments altogether because the top comments they were getting were filled with links to virus sites and other spam.

Google has now responded to some of the criticism.

“Since we launched the new comments experience on YouTube two weeks ago, we’ve received a lot of feedback from creators on the increase in comment spam,” the YouTube team said in a blog post. “While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued YouTube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them.”

Google says it has implemented better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts, improved ASCII art detection and changed how long comments are displayed.

“We know the spam issues made it hard to use the new system at first, and we’re excited to see more of you getting involved as we’ve fixed issues,” YouTube said. “New features like threaded conversations and formatted comments are coming to life, thanks to you and your fans.”

The company says it will soon launch more tools for comment management, including a bulk moderation feature. It also says it’s working on improving comment ranking and moderation of old-style comments.

The comment ranking algorithm is indeed in need of some major improvement. As it stands, some videos are flooded with comments simply saying what the video is, because they are simply Google+ shares. For example, people were sharing this video of Matt Cutts on Google+, and letting their followers know what the video is about. That’s fine for Google+, but it doesn’t make for very good discussion on a YouTube video when a bunch of people are just saying what the topic of the video is.

As Sarah Perez at TechCrunch notes, the algorithm also rewards troll comments because of they get so many responses.

YouTube’s improved ASCII art detection is likely a direct response to what the company would consider spam, but in reality is protest from users over the new commenting system.

I’m sure you’ve seen Bob and his arsenal by now:

YouTube Bob

So far, comments on YouTube’s own announcement of the update have been fairly positive, but we’ll see how the community as a whole reacts. Either way, if Google has done as it says, we’ll probably be seeing less of Bob.

One of the biggest complaints against the new system is that people simply don’t want Google+ crammed down their throats. I don’t see Google changing direction where that’s concerned.

Do you think Google is on the right track with YouTube comments? Share your thoughts

Images via YouTube

  • Marcus Hilton

    It’s unfortunate that so many of the people who talk smack about google and their terrible privacy are still using google products everyday. Why? There are so many privacy-based alternatives out there that don’t violate your privacy. Don’t be weak. Quit your google habit and wake up to reality. Some of your privacy-based options are: Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, and the list goes on. Let’s start educating our friends and family about the serious privacy concerns when using google, facebook, etc. and let them know what their options are. This is the big problem, because so many people talk about privacy, but they never offer suggestions on what privacy-based alternatives are available to them.

    • http://www.sumantandsumeetkaul.com/ sumeet kaul

      still now i cant understand google policy for seo

  • Ardy

    They completely missed the point. What I read in this was as follows;

    “We heard your feedback- and we’re going to ignore it :)”

    I just don’t understand why the hell they’re changing things that are FINE AND NOT FIXING THINGS THAT ARE BROKEN…

  • Myname Islegion

    YouTube has finally brought on their own demise. Somehow they have managed to make a BAD situation infinitely worse. I cannot imagine any reasonably “normal” person wanting to leave comments on YouTube now
    — if somehow they are even able.

    Personally, I think they could have solved the “comments” problems with a bit of software… all they really needed was to eliminate the vicious and hateful comments that YouTube was inundated with. And that could have been done by using SOFTWARE that would turn four-letter words like FUCK and others into F*** or even just ****!

    By doing this, those retards who can’t speak without a mouthful of garbage would soon lose interest, and the rest of us reading their words wouldn’t see much to be offended about.

    This, of course, would not only apply to 4-letter words, but also to racist comments, gay-bashing comments, etc. Without these words appearing visibly among the comments, there really wouldn’t be anything to be offended about, would there? And those making such comments would soon tire of it all and go away.

    But could we ever count on YouTube to use such a simple plan? Of course not. It would upset their agenda of collecting personal and PRIVATE information.

    And of course we can’t have that.

  • Chris

    That’s right Google, don’t listen to your users, try to silence them instead.

  • Jon

    I dont know why Google persists with Youtube comments at all…

    Many comments on the videos I look at are immature, spiteful, boastful and often ill-informed.

    There are some great informative videos out there but they are tarnished so often by the comments. Not sure why this level of abuse is concentrated on Youtube and less so elsewhere – perhaps a predominately younger audience?

    Example: Young sax player showing first attempts at improvisation – comments like “you suck man – give it up” – great encouragement for a learner taking his/her first venture at sharing early attempts with others.

    Example: Instructional videos – abusive “experts” trying to show off their superior knowledge ( in their opinion ) by dissing the person on the video.

    Youtube is great but many of the comments suck

    • JLiRD808

      Those types of comments CAN STILL VERY WELL OCCUR with the G+ integration. And most people knew how to ignore trolly comments….u didn’t know how to do that?

      G+ is trying to turn YouTube into some creepy utopia where everyone wears fake smiles, and acts nice to everyone. LOL…GOOD LUCK.

  • Matt

    They still suck and let us delete our Google plus profile without losing our Youtube accounts!

  • frank burns

    If the links pisted are a comparison of a similar YouTube video on topic, that would be great because its keeping audiences on YouTube. If the links refer to another site unrelated to the video watched, it should be marked as #spam and automatically deleted along with the corresponding comment. That’s my 50 cents for the discussion but it is a practical approach as a solution which might otherwise destabilize the Integrity of YouTube and their #creators. #happythanksgiving

  • http://michaeltaylorauthor.com Michael Taylor

    Google is getting so much wrong these days. They seem to think that just because they have the technology to do something they should use it. Often unwise. It seems nobody thinks things through properly at Google. Their Search is a mess.

    • http://internationalnlp.org/ sumeet kaul

      at that time google hurt sem business

  • Sin

    I’m slow doing it the moving, but I opened a new email account with other service and I’m updating everything to work with my new email address so I can dump Gmail for good. Had it for years and I am going to close that account soon. I already shut down my youtube and google profiles.

  • http://www.adovationz.co.nz Digby Geen

    Yes I hate all the abusive comments.

    And If people say a video sucks, they should say why they think it sucks.

    But I am not sure that Google is not getting too big and powerful.

  • http://wexfordpress.com John Culleton

    In general I am of the school that says “if it
    ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I know programmer types
    love to fiddle. Indeed I am one of that breed. But
    the perceived benefit is not equal to the extra
    labor in learning how to use the changed features.

  • http://nagualgrove.com/ Howard Crane

    It’s a really sad indication of where we are as a species when we’re putting petitions on Change.org to get a corporation to revert changes it made to it’s PRODUCT. Great to see where our priorities lie in the age of government surveillance and more people dying from war and the fallout of war.
    How about a petition against Google+’s blatant abuse of our privacy? Google+ stole private photographs I took with my phone and had on my desktop and put them on their “backup” service. Where’s the petition against that?

  • Hannible

    I am absolutely positive that Google changed the system because the debates about the Holocaust. Many people have changed there minds on the subject, due to comments made on You tube. I knew they would do something about it. But Google+ has ruined You tube

  • http://www.rameezulhaq.com SEO Expert

    It is good to enhance comments system, but Youtube will not gain any benefit from Google+ Integration, People just not want to share any of their activity!

  • http://get-business-online.com/ Gal Baras

    I always moderate my video comments, so this doesn’t mean more spam for me. Not sure what the big problem is.

    People are complaining about changes to a site that allows them to STORE and STREAM videos for NOTHING. What?! It’s the next logical step in making the Googleverse social and anyone who has a problem with it can get over themselves or stop using it.

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