While YouTube’s new Google+ commenting system gave way to features like threaded conversations, it also brought a fair share of spam to the site. The company has already rolled out a number of updates to deal with the issue and promises that other improvements are on the way.
The new commenting system launched earlier this month and requires viewers to connect a Google+ account in order to comment. This change was met with mixed reviews with members citing reasons related to privacy, confusions, and the ability to leave anonymous comments.
Google’s hope for the new system was to increase the quality and relevancy of comments, but it appears that the feature has gotten off to a rough start. YouTube previously didn’t have a problem with link spam because the older commenting system prevented people from leaving messages that includes clickable links. That changed when Google+ comments were integrated.
Spammers and scammers quickly took advantage of the new system. In an article by security researcher Graham Cluley, he noted that there was so much abuse that some YouTube publishers, including video games reviewer PewDiePie, disabled Google+ comments completely after the front pages of its comments sections were filled with links to viruses and spam.
For brands and businesses that rely on YouTube for marketing and customer service, this poses a major problem. Not only are you not seeing the best engagement from viewers, but those watching your videos and reading through comments are also put at risk.
In an effort to combat the abuse, YouTube announced that it had made a number of changes, including better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts, improved ASCII art detection, and changing how long comments are displayed. The company also promised that other changes, such as bulk moderation, are also in the works.
YouTube’s comments team added that it’s still working on improving comment ranking, which will continue to be necessary as spammers find workaround to the new system. It looks like the new Google+ commenting system is here to stay, but the company appears determined to improve user experience.