Too crude? YouTube revamps much-criticized comments feed
Popular video-sharing site YouTube is shown in this undated image. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)
Published Wednesday, September 25, 2013 10:37AM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) -- YouTube, the Google-owned video sharing website, said Tuesday it was revamping its comments feed which some web users claimed had turned into a magnet for crude and vulgar postings.
A YouTube blog post said those sharing videos will be able to use "new tools" to help filter out "unwelcome voices."
"When it comes to the conversations happening on YouTube, recent does not necessarily mean relevant," said the posting from YouTube's Nundu Janakiram and Yonatan Zunger.
"So, comments will soon become conversations that matter to you. In the coming months, comments from people you care about will rise up where you can see them, while new tools will help video creators moderate conversations for welcome and unwelcome voices."
The revamp will give those sharing videos "new tools to review comments before they're posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans. These can help you spend less time moderating, and more time sharing videos and connecting with your fans," the blog post said.
Last year, Wired magazine said YouTube was home to "the worst commenters on the Internet -- racist, cruel, idiotic, nonsensical, and barely literate."
The website Buzzfeed rated YouTube as a "comment disaster on an unprecedented scale."
"YouTube comments read like gibberish and don't really seem connected to one another. Content ranges from typed grunts to racist sentence fragments to nonsensical homophobic outbursts," Buzzfeed said in its investigation last year of the worst online commenters.
Google launched the so-called social layer to YouTube in 2011, integrating comments through its Google+ social network.
Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. The service is believed to generate a small amount of revenue from advertising, but the content has been free until recently, when Google added paid channels.
YouTube has gradually added professional content, such as full-length television shows and movies to its vast trove of amateur video offerings in a bid to attract advertisers.