[CW racist slurs in the screenshot below]
OK…so my friend Emma puts this video of her venting her frustration about Google Plus on YouTube. It gets an overwhelmingly positive response…30,000 likes after like three hours of being online and less than 1000 dislikes.
And yet…let’s take a look at the “Top Comments” YouTube decided would be more relevant and important to me:
I think I have identified a couple of problems.
First, I assume Google has a very sophisticated spam filtering program but, apparently, it isn’t triggered by someone just typing the word “nigger” 85 times. So, yeah, let’s put some resources toward that.
Second, the algorithm is promoting controversial, not popular posts. Since the entitled assholes of G+ are arguing with Emma Blackery fans those comment threads are getting promoted and it looks like the majority of people (at first glance) disagree with her.
Third, and this is maybe the more important point…YouTube is highlighting the comments from popular G+ users and, apparently, they’re dicks. Criticizing Emma’s (lovely) hair, making fun of the structure of what is obviously not meant to be a fucking Bob Dylan song. Calling her a “Clever little attention seeker” belittling her concerns and repeatedly referring to her as “entitled.”
These guys are who trolls grow up to be.
This has been part of G+’s problem from the beginning, it’s used by a very small segment of mostly male, professional, egotistical, entitled people who can’t believe anyone would ever /not/ use Google+ because it’s so awesome…except when you do go use it, they get up in your face for “using it wrong.”
If YouTube is going to just be giving voice to those people at the expense of the ACTUAL fans of the ACTUAL content then that is a MUCH DEEPER problem than linking up a dummy G+ account and then ignoring it forever. If they’re going to punish you for not being an active G+ user and not spending all of your social time on G+ then that indeed is evil and wrong and something I will not stand for.
At the moment, I’m prepared to believe that these are just problems that were not anticipated and are going to be worked out. In the meantime, go to Emma’s video and vote those assholes down because they don’t deserve a voice in our community.
Yeah so this is…awful.
I was actually looking forward to the comment revamp because I thought the filters and more nuanced moderating options would help quash trolls. I also didn’t realise it meant integrating with Google+.
I’m not too bothered by the latter, although the new comments system will take some getting used to and I understand why people are so annoyed at Google using YouTube’s popularity as leverage to force people to use Google+ whether they want to or not (not cool Google, not cool).
And I still think the new filtering and moderating options will really help. We used to get so many just awful comments on Pesky Dames videos and it was a choice between letting them all go up and deciding whether/what to delete afterwards (risking hateful comments staying up for days), having to go through and approve them all individually (emotionally draining/time consuming), or turning off comments entirely.
Now we can create pre-approved circles of people who actually want to engage with our videos, pre-blocked lists of all the anti-feminist MRA trolls who just want to annoy/harass us, filters for keywords like “feminazi” that pepper the comments of random passer-by trolls, and finally moderate or blanket approve the rest.
But there are still SO MANY PROBLEMS in the above. In particular that last comment which, what the fuck how did that get through?! And the whole notion of comments from ‘popular users’, which from the above and some of what I’ve seen in the “top fans” they’ve chosen for us so far can just mean annoying assholes who get into massive arguments in the comments about how much they hate you and everything your video is about (in which case may I suggest you DON’T WATCH IT and DON’T KEEP COMMENTING?!)
I’m still hopefully that this will mean a less daunting and hateful YouTube comments section, but we’ll see.