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Periscope puts abusive commenters on trial

The video streaming app is dealing with abusive comments the old fashioned way -- with a jury of your peers.


What better way to deal with abusive comments on a social media platform built on live interaction than immediate, summary judgement? That's Periscope's thinking, as the live video streaming app announced a new way to deal with harassment in a blog post on Tuesday.

When a comment on a broadcast is flagged, a few users will be tapped to vote on whether they think the comment is spam, abuse or if everything is kosher. If the majority vote that the comment is spam or abuse, the person who posted it will be muted for a short time. A second guilty verdict will result in a user being permanently disabled from commenting for the rest of that particular broadcast. The whole process, Periscope says, should only take a few seconds.

Broadcasters will be able to turn off moderated comments on their streams in the settings tab. Similarly, users can opt out of voting at all.

As harassment on social media becomes a hot-button issue for the likes of Facebook and Twitter, the new tool joins Periscope's existing methods of dealing with abuse, including traditional reporting of users, blocking and restricted comment permissions.

"There are no silver bullets, but we're committed to developing tools to keep Periscope a safe and open place for people to connect in real-time," read the blog post. "We look forward to working closely with you and everyone else in the community to improve comment moderation."