Long considered home to the worst commenters on the internet — racist, cruel, idiotic, nonsensical, and barely literate — YouTube is in the process of upgrading its comment system in order to better tame its most loathsome members.
It seems YouTube will be kicking the trolls to the curb. According to this article by Wired, YouTube is in the process of overhauling its comment system.
Word of the overhaul slipped out during the Q&A portion of a YouTube developer session at Google I/O, the annual developer’s conference from the video-upload hub’s owner, Google. A member of the audience, which was stocked heavily with online video publishers, asked for advice on handling negative comments within his YouTube channel. Dror Shimshowitz, a YouTube “head of product,” replied that “comments are kind of the Wild West of video” and can be turned off. But Google doesn’t like it when people do that, he said, because it cuts off the community. So the company is working on fixing the system.
“We’re working on some improvements to the comment system, so hopefully we’ll have an update on that in the next few months,” Shimshowitz said. There’s no question YouTube has its work cut out for it; its comment sections are widely regarded as cesspools. Meme harvester BuzzFeed called YouTube “a comment disaster on an unprecedented scale” with “the worst commenters on the internet;” online entrepreneur (and Wired contributor) Andy Baio called them “historically pretty bad;” and the online comic XKCD in 2006 imagined the moon landing being broadcast — and moronically heckled — on YouTube.
“The internet has always had loud dumb people,” XKCD illustrator Randall Munroe wrote in an accompanying caption, ”but I’ve never seen anything quite as bad as the people who comment on YouTube videos.”
In a way this is a bit sad, on occasion, reading some of the idiotic commentaries was more entertaining than some of the videos that were posted.