Trolls will sink in the bog as ‘relevant’ comments to appear higher up, must have Google+ account.
Google is moving to change how Youtube video uploaders manage the comments on their videos. The new system, which has already begun to roll out on a limited number of accounts, favours relevancy over date the comment was written, and also introduces enhanced moderation tools.
The new comment system is powered by Google+, and provides "several new tools for moderation," said Nundu Janakiram, product manager at Youtube. It will default to showing Youtube viewers the most relevant comments first, such as those by the uploader or channel owner.
"Currently, you see comments from the last random person to stop by," Janakiram said. "The new system tries to surface the most meaningful conversation to you. We’re trying to shift from comments to meaningful conversations," he said.
He explained that three main factors determine which comments are more relevant: community engagement by the commenter, up-votes for a particular comment, and commenter reputation. If you’ve been flagged for spam or abuse, don’t be surprised to find your comments buried, but that also means that celebrities who have strong Google+ reputations will be boosted above others.
There’s more to the system than just relevancy, though. Because the system is powered by Google+, comments made on posts with YouTube links in the social network will show up on YouTube itself. So, you’ll see comments from people in your Google+ Circles higher up, too.
Just because it’s powered by Google+ doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your YouTube identity, though. "You are still allowed to use pseudonyms," said Janakiram, whether you’re "a Syrian dissident or SoulPancake".
Another feature, and one that speaks directly to YouTube’s goal of fostering conversations, is that you’ll be able to comment publicly or privately to people in your Circles. Replies will be threaded like Gmail.
The hope is that new moderation tools will make it easier for video owners to guide the conversation, Janakiram explained. "There have been challenges in the past with certain comments and what’s been shown there."