YouTube confirms commenting woes, promises to make interactions better

YouTube has never been the site that sparked the most intelligent or constructive conversations. The comments section has always been a place of great frustration for those seeking to engage in meaningful interactions about the topic presented by content creators, due to spam, trolling and other wasteful nonsense which has dominated the space for as long as I can remember. Part of the blame lies on commenters but seeing as we are talking about the InterWebs here it is YouTube which should take charge and pave the way towards improving what shows up on its site.

The move to Google+ comments is the most recent answer to a perennial issue. This did not come without a heavy dose of criticism, and for good reason. Forcing people to interact through Google's social network could deter folks from engaging with their peers and give Plussers the power over what is popular on the site; not to mention that Plussers control the narrative, which, if my experience and of others is of any indication, means that topics discussing rival companies and their products could generate little to no interest or a negative flow of input for content creators.

In a new blog post, YouTube admits that the new commenting system is not working exactly as it should. "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. [...] it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them". So, basically, not even Google+ could rid YouTube of all the pesky spammers, even though it theoretically should have tremendously improved upon this.

The video-sharing site has not stopped at the aforementioned admission, as some changes were announced as well. YouTube says that the new commenting system now better recognizes bad links and impersonation attempts, improves ASCII detection (the use of ASCII generated some interesting "art" -- as YouTube calls it) and changes the way long comments are shown. Still, even these improvements will not remove some of the issues that were introduced alongside the new system. Basically, it is also broken but we are going to have to live with this one from now on.

YouTube has also revealed that more changes are coming, including the option for bulk moderation which will arrive alongside dedicated tools. Other upcoming changes will tackle improving the comment ranking and the moderation of old-style interactions. Will these suffice?

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