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YouTube Comments Revamp: Hit or Miss?

  |  January 14, 2014   |  Comments

Google rolled out a new comments system for its YouTube property, after its previous attempt at doing so sparked users outrage.

YouTube just revamped its commenting system again, still linking to but not totally removing it from Google+, despite receiving major criticism when it switched the system over to its social arm.

Hit: Centralized and Filtered
The new comment moderation system offers creators a dashboard that lets them interact in one place with all the comments their videos receive. Actions remain the same: approve, deny, flag, report, view... you name it.

The other real improvement is that YouTube is allowing creators to streamline actions by setting up filters: approved users, banned users and blacklist. These will work, provided the discussion tab is activated, i.e. the creator allows comments on her/his videos and/or channel. 



Approved and banned users is self explanatory. 'Blacklist,' however, has more to it than plainly banning a person (already in the 'banned user' category): it allows the video creator to select a list of words to act as triggers for comments to be held back and moderated before hitting the page. Unwanted content, even by an authorized user, will thus be stopped short. Comments can also be held for review, in general, before they get published but the blacklist is likely to help sift through spammy content, on top of Google's dedicated spam recognition efforts.

Miss: Ranking

Google+ will play a major role in surfacing comments. Contributions from people in your circles or from popular personalities (based on their Google footprint) will rank higher in the comments thread, along with your own comments, if you are the creator. What seems logical from a search perspective seems to make little sense here: the search priorities may not be the creators' ones. If anything, Google is also promising to enable features such as in-line replies or expanding all replies. Mix that with the popularity and circles algorithm we just mentioned and you turn comments moderation into a new headache.

It looks like another nightmare is about to begin. Let's see how Google finally decides to correct this, for real... maybe.


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Liva Judic

Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.

Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.

Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat 

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