YouTube comments channels are widely known as a toxic and hostile environment – but Google had admitted that YouTube’s recent integration with Google Plus has made things even worse.
YouTube’s comment channel was integrated with Google accounts, and in particular with public Google Plus profiles, in an attempt, according to The Register’s report, to de-anonymize users and promote civil conversations.
In an offical post this week, Google said, “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.”
The search giant pointed out that the new system had led to an increase in extremely long comments, spam and ‘ASCII art’, where users draw pictures using keyboard characters. Such artworks are often obscene, as The Register points out.
“The integration of YouTube comments with Google Plus has led to a new wave of obscene comment spam and more junk, Google has admitted.What’s happened in the weeks since the change is that the flame wars in YouTube comments have continued while spam has arguably gotten worse,” the site’s report said.
Popular and prolific channels such as gamer Pew Pew Die Die’s turned off comments altogether, as reported by Graham Cluley, “Turning comments off until they are working properly,” Pew Pew Die Die wrote.
Cluley comments, “Clearly Google has no intention to listen to those petitioning against Google+ being the basis of YouTube comments, ASCII art or no ASCII art.Let’s hope that Google manages to police malicious and spammy links better, or it may become riskier than ever watching YouTube videos.”
The search giant said, “We’re moving forward with more improvements to help you manage comments on your videos better. Bulk moderation has been a long standing creator request and we’ll be releasing tools for that soon. At the same time, we’re also working on improving comment ranking and moderation of old-style comments.”
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security