YouTube Will Tell You if You're Being an Asshole in Comments

The website announced a new tool that will send you a notification, and potentially lock you out for 24 hours, if you leave an abusive comment.

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YouTube announced AI tools to police livestreams and detect spam comments.
YouTube announced AI tools to police livestreams and detect spam comments.
Image: Wachiwit (Shutterstock)

YouTube wants you to stop being mean. As YouTube comments continue to serve as a place to harbor negativity and bad tempers, the platform is rolling out a way to let you know if your comment is too rude.

YouTube announced yesterday that the video sharing platform will soon ping you if a comment you left on a video is deemed too abusive based on the website’s community guidelines. If a user receives a notification and continues to post abusive comments, YouTube will muzzle them with a ban from commenting for 24 hours.

The new feature is being released today, and the company said in its blog post that tests of the feature and punishments proved successful. YouTube will give people who believe they have been wrongly chastised the opportunity to contest their punishment, and the notification system is so far only available for English language comments.

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“Our goal is to both protect creators from users trying to negatively impact the community via comments, as well as offer more transparency to users who may have had comments removed to policy violations and hopefully help them understand our Community Guidelines,” TeamYouTube said in a blog post.

This new feature was a part of a larger announcement YouTube made yesterday on efforts to curb rampant spam and abuse on the platform, specifically in its comments. In addition to notifying users that they are being assholes, YouTube claims to have also been honing its artificial intelligence tools to scrape the website’s comment sections for spam and shitty behavior—allegedly removing 1.1 billion spammy comments in the first six months of this year. The platform is also using artificial intelligence to detect and remove bots from YouTube live chats. 

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“We’ve been working on improving our automated detection systems and machine learning models to identify and remove spam,” the company said in its post. “As spammers change their tactics, our machine learning models are continuously improving to better detect the new types of spam.”

YouTube has flirted with comment moderation methods in the past, including asking you nicely to behave, hiding comments on their own separate page as well as displaying a user’s comments on their own profile. This new feature, however, appears to be a more aggressive attempt from the company to moderate its website’s discourse.