YouTube comments suck, but a new warning might help them get better


Have you ever been outraged at some ignorant moron for posting something too stupid to be real, but after typing up a word salad of purified hate that’s meant to leave them a pathetic husk of a person, you realize nothing will be accomplished and end up deleting the whole thing? I hate to break it to you, but that’s probably the right move (most of the time). The fine minds behind YouTube think so too, and they’re testing a new prompts that will casually remind users to reconsider hostile comments before it’s too late.

YouTube’s goal is to give users a polite reminder to think before posting. As such, the new feature examines comments to determine if they contain potentially offensive words and phrases, then nudges users to think carefully about whether they want to move forward with posting. The prompt isn’t intended to interfere with friendly comments, and users are still allowed to post even if they trigger a warning with an innocent phrase.

[October 6 2020] Testing a new reminder in comments to help encourage respectful interactions: To help encourage more respectful interactions on YouTube, we’re testing out a reminder that pops up before you post a potentially offensive comment, giving you a moment to reflect on your comment and revise your reply/comment before it’s published. From the reminder, you can move forward with posting your comment as is, or take a few extra moments to edit your comment before posting it. Note: Even if a comment doesn’t trigger the reminder (as it won’t catch all potentially offensive comments) it may still be removed due to Community Guidelines violations. Only those randomly selected to participate in the experiment will see the reminder. We’ll continue to adjust if and how the reminder is shown pending experiment results.

YouTube acknowledges the system won’t catch everything and all comments are still subject to removal if they violate the Community Guidelines. The new prompt goes into testing today and will only apply to select accounts for now, but will likely roll out to everybody once it has been more thoroughly tested and refined.

It should probably go without saying, but it’s probably not a good idea to start typing hateful phrases in an attempt to trigger the new reminder just to see if it’s live on your account.

Image Source: Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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