YouTube will prompt you to rethink potentially offensive comments

Updated: Dec 10, 2020


YouTube announced it’s launching a new feature that will push commenters to reconsider their hateful and offensive remarks before posting. It will also begin testing a filter that allows creators to avoid having to read some of the hurtful comments on their channel that had been automatically held for review. The new features are meant to address longstanding issues with the quality of comments on YouTube’s platform — a problem creators have complained about for years.


The feature appears when users are about to post something offensive in a video’s comments section and warns to “Keep comments respectful.” The message also tells users to check the site’s Community Guidelines if they’re not sure if a comment is appropriate.


The pop-up then nudges users to click the “Edit” button and revise their comment by making “Edit” the more prominent choice on the screen that appears.


The feature will not actually prevent a user from posting their comment, however. If they want to proceed, they can click the “Post Anyway” option instead.

Image Credits: YouTube


The idea to put up roadblocks to give users time to pause and reconsider their words and actions is something several social media platforms are now doing.

Users on Android in the English language will see the new prompts first, starting today, Google says. The rollout will complete over the next couple of days. The company did not offer a time frame for the feature’s support for other platforms and languages or even a firm commitment that such support would arrive in the future. In addition, YouTube said it will also now begin testing a feature for creators who use YouTube Studio to manage their channel.


Today, YouTube Studio users can choose to auto-moderate potentially inappropriate comments, which they can then manually review and choose to approve, hide or report. While it’s helpful to have these held, it’s still often difficult for creators to have to deal with these comments at all, as online trolls can be unbelievably cruel. With the filter, creators can avoid these potentially offensive comments entirely.


A survey aimed at giving equal opportunity to creators


In a separate move, YouTube said it’s soon introducing a new survey that will ask creators to voluntarily share with YouTube information about their gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity. Using the data collected, YouTube claims it will be able to better examine how content from different communities is treated in search, discovery and monetization systems.


It will also look for possible patterns of hate, harassment and discrimination that could affect some communities more than others, the company explains. This survey will begin in 2021 and was designed in consultation with input from creators and civil and human rights experts. YouTube says the collected data will not be used for advertising purposes, and creators will have the ability to opt-out and delete their information entirely at any time.


Last updated: 9 Dec, 2020