Tube dicks

I was telling my buddy Mike about the prevalence of mean comments on YouTube. I noticed that many of the comments made on the videos on YouTube are hateful and some of them are shockingly mean spirited. I have a sense of humor that stretches the bounds of piety to go along with the best of them, but these aren’t jokes. I have seem on many occasions people saying blatantly racist, homophobic, and misogynistic things. It’s so bad that I’ve felt compelled to click on the names of some of the people who have left these comments, and say something. Not surprisingly, the majority are from accounts with no name or videos and the least amount of information. I was referring to them as cowards hiding behind the anonymity of the net, but I think Mike said it best, they’re Tube dicks.

YouTubers are a very cynical bunch. That’s not fair, most of them are nice, but there are soooo many involved in some unspoken competition to see who can hate someone else’s video the most, that it can feel like they are all rude. I see people commenting over and over about how a video was stupid or that it was a waste of their time. This is amatuer video, people! What do you expect?

It bums me out because I think the hate these cowards spew degrades the quality of the YouTube experience. I think it makes people less apt to post something in fear they will be ridiculed. I mean, I’ve seen countless comments from people telling the video poster to do everyone a favor and kill themselves. Cowards think it’s funny because they can get away with their insults, but I know they wouldn’t have the courage to say those comments in person. I think YouTube has a responsibility to mitigate this kind of behavior. No, I think if they don’t get it figured out, it’s going to destroy their market appeal.

I don’t see near the magnitude of jerk commenting on MySpace, yet people have just as much opportunity to create profiles just to be an ass. I think it’s due to the MySpace friend structure and profile settings, which I think YouTube could benefit from studying. Here are a few of my suggestions about what YouTube can do to stop the Tube dicks:

  • Require friendship before a person can leave a comment. That would stop randoms from coming along and puking their hate on other people’s videos.
  • Make it an option to require approval before a comment is published.
  • Have a flag for hate. If a comment receives enough hate flags, then pull it for the poster to review for approval. Additionally, if a user has enough comments that are flagged as hate, their account should be suspended for YouTube moderators to review.
  • Require identity authentication ala Facebook. The biggest reason people say hateful things is because they are anonymous. If you remove anonymity, then people are exponentially less willing to say things that can be tracked back to them. It’s the reason you don’t see people in public calling someone a fucking idiot for picking a certain video at a movie store.

Those are some of my suggestions. What do you all think about the hate on YouTube (or other places) and what can be done about it?

Those are some great ideas but i’m not sure if YouTube intended it to be a community as much as it intended it to be a place for people to be able to host their videos and allow others to view them.

To get more of an idea about what i’m talking about, download this episode of a podcast called Inside The Net (Leo Laporte of TWiT and Amber MacArthur) where they interview Steve Chen of YouTube.

But even if thats not what they intended YouTube to become, thats where it looks like it may need to go. They may even need to go so far as a complete new web release with the added options of making it a better and higher quality social networking website.

From John Trent on October 2nd, 2006 at 1:21 pm

I like the flaging idea, you know code would it be hard to hate flag someone? Probablly they change their name often anyway….
You every wonder if it could help a person change or “grow up” Not likely they might even try to gain hate flags for fun. The other thought is if all this stuff stays around in ten years can we throw their comments back at them? can we give them perminate bad internet carma? There really is no consequence that will stick. I just though if one day when they are older if they came across their own hateful words…. would they care? I would but then I never do that.

Perhaps a benifit for being nice. On worth1000 you vote on eachothers stuff and get carma points based on how closely you come to the average score. The more intune you are the more influence your vote has later. (the longer you have been around the more influence) Of course if you want to win it helps if your vote counts more.

There is a rating system for these videos I noticed. You could restrict comments from those who rake videos improperly.

The only reason I rate the stuff on worth1000 is to see how I rank, or I have to wait until the contest is over and my carma goes down if I don’t vote. Probably too complicated for Youtube. At the very least they would have to organize by subject, content and length… I love worth1000 you get carma for comments too- I have never had a “bad” comment and one or two have been very helpful.

From sabrina on October 2nd, 2006 at 11:20 pm

Some people tend to be sarcastic (like me) and they take that too far…making someone feel bad about themselves or their heritage is absolutely uncalled for. You can be funny and cute and still not be an ass….:)

From Stefani on December 7th, 2006 at 10:53 am

I refrain from reading YouTube comments; they’re so disgusting. I never scroll down to check them out anymore. I just scroll down far enough to see the video I want to see and that’s that. YouTubers may have a right to post whatever they want, but I have a right to not read their garbage.

From Jeff on November 1st, 2007 at 10:53 pm

What say you about all of this?

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