YouTube strives to crack down on comment spam

The new YouTube comment system opened the door to more spam. So what has YouTube done to stem the tide?

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

YouTube's new comment system was getting bitten by a rise in spam, but the company is fighting back.

In a blog posted late Monday, the YouTube comments team acknowledged the increase in comment span since revamping the format a couple of weeks ago. The change was designed to cut down on anonymous and frivolous comments by requiring commenters to use their Google+ names. But the move showed that people can be jerks even under their own names and actually triggered a surge in spam.

In response, the comments team launched three updates to try to combat the problem, notably better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts, improved ASCII art detection, and a change in how long comments are displayed.

On a related note, the team noted that more people are using the new comment system and taking advantage of such features as threaded conversations and formatted comments.

What's next on the YouTube to-do list? The team plans to improve the way YouTube users can manage their comments and will give content creators tools for bulk comment moderation. It also wants to improve comment ranking and the moderation of older-style comments.

A quick tour through YouTube did show considerably fewer spam comments than I found a week or two ago. So YouTube's spam-fighting efforts may be paying off.

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