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?