If you've ever glanced down from a Youtube video at the threads of conversation below, you'll know that it's not exactly the most englightened or informed place. There's no decent system of sorting the good comments from the bad, lots of upvoted “upvote this please,” comments and more often than not, someone is calling someone else an asshole; or worse. Well no more. Google has announced a big revamp of the Youtube comment section and it's coming sometime in the next week.
It won't apply to all of them straight away, but gradually over the next couple of months, all Youtube videos will be converted over to use the new Google + linked and inspired commenting system. To help kick things off, comments will be listed in descending order of relevance to you. That means the top comments will be from people in your circles, as well as those from the video's creator. On top of that, threaded conversations will finally be introduced, meaning if a flame war does kick off, you're reading the oldest comment before the newest. No longer will you spend ages clicking “show the comment,” as you backtrack our way through the conversation.
However if you don't want idiots reading what you wrote, it'll be perfectly possible to post something that only your friends or the creator of the video can see. That way if you want to drop a joke that only your Google+ circle will appreciate, you can do so without being misinterpreted. Likewise, content producers will be able to post comments or respond to only people that have signed up to their Google+ page or subscribed to the channel, thereby making sure they too aren't taken out of context be someone that doesn't know what they're talking about.
This is what comments will look like later this year
Of course some git will always sneak through these systems and manage to find a way to post racist remarks on your cat video, so what's a feline filmer to do? On top of everything else, Google will also offer a filtering system for comments, thats customisable by the video creator, for each one. That way if you think your Vine compilation is going to garner a lot of homophobic remarks that you'd rather didn't appear, you can filter certain words and blacklist anyone that tries to bypass it.
Some people will likely find ways to sneak past said filters, by using old tricks like spacing out the letters, or sticking full stops between them, but it might be interesting to see if Google has thought of this already and built its filtering system to factor these moves in.
Kitguru Says: This seems like a nice idea, but how often do you watch the same videos as your friends without them being in the room? And if it's because they linked it through a different site, you're more likely to comment on there, rather than Youtube. There's some nice ideas here, but not all of it seems necessary. Simply adding the filtering and the threaded conversations could have been enough.