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YouTube spam problem persists despite Google+ comments, users outraged

YouTube's recent rollout of Google+-powered comments appears to have garnered more than just user outrage. The new system has reportedly also been inundated with spam messages—the very issue the move to a new commenting platform was meant to fix.

The problem has not gone unnoticed by the Google-owned video sharing platform, which on Monday 25 November posted a blog entry acknowledging users' concerns.

"Since we launched the new comments experience on YouTube two weeks ago, we've received a lot of feedback from creators on the increase in comment spam," YouTube said.

"While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued YouTube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them," the post continued.

In two days, a number of updates have been made to the system, including better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts, a change to how long comments are displayed, and improved detection of ASCII art—in-comment images built out of text characters.

YouTube didn't elaborate on its plans, nor did it reveal just how much spam had increased after moving to the Google+ platform.

Earlier this month, the popular video-sharing site rolled out an update to YouTube comments that helps to promote "comments you care about," like those from a video's creator, popular personalities, or people in viewers' Google+ Circles. New tools also make it easier to review comments before they're posted, block certain words, or set auto-approval for specific users.

By signing into Google+ on YouTube, users can decide whether to leave public comments, or write to only those people in their Circles. As in Gmail, replies are threaded for easy conversation flow.

Not everyone was quick to latch onto the system, though. Not only did one California resident launch a petition against the comment section change, but British musician Emma Blackery lashed out in a 3.5-minute video telling the search giant in a song to "leave us alone, we just want to make videos."