YouTube‘s infamous comment section has gained a reputation as a breeding ground for hate, abuse, and many other unsavory things, but a series of upcoming changes could make it a more pleasant environment for creators and their fans. At VidCon, YouTube announced that channel owners will be able to pin important comments, add gifs to their replies to fans, and let their close followers serve as comment moderators.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who announced the changes, didn’t offer many specifics about how the new comment system will work. “We’re also working to improve comments by giving creators more flexibility to pin a comment at the top of their videos, include GIF’s in responses and even delegate comment moderation to their trusted fans,” she said during her keynote address.
It is the last of those three updates — the launch of a more robust set of comment moderation tools — that could have a huge impact on the relationship between creators and their fans. Top YouTube stars like PewDiePie and Boogie2988 have spoken out about the negative impact hateful comments have had on them, and some creators, such as TotalBiscuit, have turned off comments on their videos entirely. By letting fans serve as moderators, YouTube will create a middle ground between the acceptance of hateful speech and the complete removal of comments altogether. Soon, superfans will be able to keep the discussion civil while creators focus on producing videos.
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The launch date of YouTube’s comment section update has not yet been announced.
Photo credit: FilmMagic for YouTube