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Web Sites Trying To Nix Those Nasty Comments
Web Sites Trying To Nix Those Nasty Comments

By Seth Fitzgerald
December 27, 2013 11:28AM

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Ah, the joy of being able to post nasty, offensive comments all over the Web under the veil of anonymity. Or being able to spam to your heart's content. So it goes all over the Web, on any site that uses an unmoderated system for comments. But now, many publishers have had enough and are finding new ways to clean up their sites and cut the abuse.
 



Many things have changed about the Internet over the years, but one thing that never seems to change is the ugliness of anonymous comments on virtually any Web site that allows unmoderated discussions. Now though, some mainstream Web sites have had enough, and are trying to find ways to eliminate vicious and vulgar rhetoric, even if that means banning comments altogether.

There is a big difference between someone using swear words or disagreeing with another commenter and someone who is using the comments section to spew hate, post libelous personal insults or other equally offensive remarks. Comments that cross the line of decency have been hurting some Web sites, making it all the more important to solve the problem.

A Difficult Decision

All Web sites, whether for serious news articles or silly cat videos, are faced with a hard decision regarding how best to rid their pages of harmful comments. While some have considered trying to fix the issue by making people use a real name when posting, others are going to more extreme measures, such as disabling comments altogether.

The problem with completely eliminating comments or heavily moderating them is that a lively and fresh discussion helps sites build community and can increase reader interest and shared information. At the same time, if too many of the comments are little more than "trolling" or spam or insults, the discussion can certainly do more harm than good.

YouTube and the Huffington Post are both trying to fix the nasty comment issue by either moderating the discussion section or by making people input a real name rather than a username. While some people thought that this would work, it seems to be having a minimal effect on the nature of the comments thus far. Realistically, it's just difficult to moderate hundreds or thousands of comments and to truly enforce the "real" name requirement.

The YouTube Solution

There are few places where comments are more of an issue than YouTube, not only because people feel as though they can say whatever they want, but because comments are in some ways vital to the platform. With this in mind, Google has been introducing new ways for channel owners to cutdown on offensive comments.

Heavily integrating Google Plus into YouTube imposes the so-called "real" name requirement and on top of that, Google has given people the ability to moderate comments in a more meaningful way. Although neither of these tactics are sufficient by themselves, Google has found yet another way to at least cutback on the effect that noxious comments have.

YouTube now shows comments that are popular, as well as comments from people that are connected to other users, at the top of the list. This strategy means that although people can still post offensive comments, those comments should quickly be replaced by more useful commentary.

Whether or not Google has found a way to truly nix nasty comments has yet to be seen. Its solution has already made some users angry, generating accusations of censorship and a Big Brother heavy hand. Most likely, the ones who have been abusing the system will be the first and loudest to complain, while many more will be pleased with seeing less spam and hate-speak, and more useful commentary overall.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Leibbi Dóni:

Posted: 2014-01-19 @ 6:50am PT
Political comments are being censored on youtube, that is a fact.
Comments are visual for you in a browser that you usually use, but if you change to another browser they are not visual, and they show different number of comments.
This is no longer about removing hate-speak or rude comments, its a real censorship.

Notagoogleplusmember:

Posted: 2014-01-13 @ 9:45am PT
The problem is that a lot of those Google Plus subscribers are posting nasty, offensive comments about others, using their real names. Google Plus is the place where nasty old narcissists go to die. I can't see why anyone would want to be a member.

Pat Dowhn:

Posted: 2013-12-30 @ 11:12pm PT
Google does not give a rat's about the quality of the comments on YouTube. That is a lie to justify the forcing of their failed social network, Google Plus, on EVERY YouTube user in order to falsely boost G+ numbers. Suddenly G+ has more users than Twitter and instantly the Google propaganda machine is trumpeting this fake victory. Google has officially become the first openly evil gigantic corporate entity of the internet age.

Karen:

Posted: 2013-12-29 @ 6:37pm PT
Social, open your browser & open settings. Scroll down to default browser & select show advanced settings. Under privacy select content settings & select all cookies & data. You will be able to delete all sites & data you do not want & do not want others to track you via those sites.

If you have an IPhone or IPAD. Go to settings & select. Then scroll down to safari. Select safari & scroll down to privacy & security. Turn on do not track & fraudulent website warning. Then select block cookies & choose between the 3 options.

Julian Adams:

Posted: 2013-12-29 @ 6:38am PT
I love YouTube but am offended by the hatefulness and callousness of many of the comments. I have opted to "Hide Comments" while on YouTube. This doesn't make the comments go away, but at least I don't have them thrown in my face.

SocialIsPhysicalNotVirtua:

Posted: 2013-12-28 @ 6:21pm PT
Editing (or censoring) comments is nothing new and should be expected and accepted. The problem with Google is that this is just an excuse to get to know each user better, so to better track them, and press more marketing dollar out of the citrus fruit. I really do not care about the comments on Youtube anyway. Let the professional journalists and pundits take the public's pulse and convert it into a readable (and marketable) summary that I will be happy to buy to save time.

Cathy Davidson:

Posted: 2013-12-28 @ 3:00pm PT
That's stupid. Propaganda gate. Whatever happened to sticks and stones...? Grow a spine, people. Those who would sacrifice freedom for security will have neither.



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