YouTube is unveiling a trio of new features to let creators show commenters some love, while also lifting the lid on a new tool that automatically detects rogue comments.
First up, creators will now be able to pin a specific comment to the top of their feed, meaning they can promote a particularly articulate response to a video or highlight an amusing observation.
Additionally, creators can highlight multiple comments that they love by “hearting” them — such comments will display a little profile picture of the creator with a red heart icon at the bottom. And when creators comment on one of their own videos, their username will appear prominently at the bottom of the text to make it easier to spot amidst all the other hullabaloo.
Trolls and spam
The YouTube comments section is often little more than a forum for trolls and spambots, which has led many notable creators to deactivate the section entirely. But the company has been pushing to make the comments section a friendlier place. For example, back in June, YouTube introduced a new comment control tool that lets creators choose third-party moderators to manage their comments. A few months later, the company added YouTube Heroes, which is basically another glorified moderator program that sought volunteers to flag “inappropriate” videos, among other activities.
Elsewhere, YouTube has also made it possible for creators to blacklist certain phrases for a period of time, meaning that they can manually check a comment before it’s published. With that in mind, YouTube has revealed that it’s trialing a new feature that uses algorithms to automatically hold comments it believes could be inappropriate.
“We recognize that the algorithms will not always be accurate,” says YouTube product manager Courtney Lessard. “The beta feature may hold some comments you deem fine for approval or may not catch comments you’d like to hold and remove. When you review comments, the system will take that feedback into account and get better at identifying the types of comments to hold for review.”
The new opt-in beta feature will be rolling out in the coming months, and creators will have the final say on whether a comment is hidden, approved, or reported. Those keen to gain early access can apply here.