YouTube Takes Steps to Filter Out Offensive Comments

The public reaction to Popular Science choosing to turn off website reader comments is split. For those who think it was a poor resolution, the simultaneous approach of YouTube this week will no doubt be most welcome.

Per NYC-based Gizmodo contributor Brent Rose, the Google-owned behemoth is moving to try and control its own wild flow of conversation beneath the embedded videos. Various steps include offering Google+ users “private” conversation options and giving publishers a range of filters:

Currently, content creators can choose to allow all comments in, turn off commenting completely or manually approve each comment. For big channels that garner millions of views a week, it isn’t possible to go through every comment that comes in — but now, YouTube is introducing filters that will make it easier.

Content creators will not only be able to assign people to an Approved list or a Blocked list (which will auto-approve or auto-reject comments, respectively), but they will be able to add keywords to a blacklist. This will flag comments that contain those words (or words closely resembling them) and send them into a sort of limbo, where the content creator can go through and approve later, if they so desire.

The DISQUS approach, if you will. Our site uses that comments platform and we can tell you it works, both out-of-the-box and even more so when customized in the fashion described above. A good move.