Internet comment sections can be fertile grounds for flourishing conversations or a powder keg of vileness. For many sites including YouTube, managers may push reminders for writers to be civil, hide the sections away, or not have them entirely. Now, the Google-owned social video platform is giving some creators the ability to implement rules in their comment sections as part of a pilot program.
Introduced yesterday as a YouTube feature experiment, the company is working with a small sample of publishers, allowing them to implement up to three channel guidelines for comments. Users will need to read through and agree to these guidelines before they're permitted to comment on a video.
While being much like those civility reminders in that they require the reader to click an extra button before spewing vitriol, this feature can draw red lines on certain comments as thick or thin as the publisher likes, giving them more responsibility and putting them under greater scrutiny on managing speech on their piece of a private platform.
The company is also pushing new spam filters and tools that track if users have been posting the same comment or certain words across a massive number of videos and allows channels to block the user and remove spammers' comments on a retroactive basis.