YouTube is testing stricter comment moderation to crack down on spam

Creators want greater control over what’s going on

YouTube comments have been a smoldering trash fire almost since the site’s creation. It’s a problem that you either grow numb to and learn to ignore, or if you’ve uploaded a video of your own, maybe you just sidestep it all together by turning off the comments — a step that unfortunately also diminishes viewer engagement. Trolling is one thing, of course, but the real problem is spam, and creators have been calling it out. It looks like YouTube is ready to help them take control of the issue.

As The Verge reports, creator Marques Brownlee pointed out in a video published April 1 that spam in YouTube comments had been “out of control” for months — the frequency had increased beyond anyone’s ability to effectively handle it. While YouTube provides spam-fighting tools and says it has used a combination of machine learning and human judgment to remove nearly a billion comments, it looks like the site has been adding additional controls.


Brownlee pointed out the new controls in a tweet with a screenshot showing a list of choices for creators, including a subcategory option that increases strictness in selecting “potentially inappropriate comments for review.” YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi told The Verge that the “evolving nature and shifting tactics of spammy content” mean the platform will continue to adapt methods to help keep comment sections relatively clean. It might just take some time for such controls to be rolled out in a form reliable enough for everyone to use.

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