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Youtube pledges to fight spam comments following Google+ integration

Video sharing website sees influx of dodgy links
Tue Nov 26 2013, 12:13
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VIDEO SHARING SERVICE Youtube has admitted that the number of spam comments has risen since Google+ was integrated with the service, and it has pledged to discourage them.

In a blog post on Monday, Youtube confessed that spam comments on its video service have become more frequent, largely due to the new Google+ commenting system. Unlike previously, Google+ allows users to post links, and following its rollout Youtube reportedly has been inundated with dodgy links and spam because of it.

Youtube said, "Since we launched the new comments experience on Youtube two weeks ago, we've received a lot of feedback from creators on the increase in comment spam.

"While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued Youtube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them."

To deal with the issue, Youtube said that it has taken a number of measures. These include better recognition of bad links and interpretation attempts, changing how long comments are displayed, and improved ASCII detection.

Graham Cluley also piped up about the issue. He wrote, "Google revamped Youtube's comments system at the start of this month - throwing out the old comments system, and replacing it with a set-up that required users to post their feedback on videos via a Google+ account.

"There's an obvious drawback though. Google+ allows you to post links. Which means, it's easier than ever for spammers, make-money-fast-scammers and malware-spreaders to get airtime for their dangerous or irritating links.

"Part of the problem is that Youtube now gives prominence to those comments which receive the most replies. Seeing as abusive comments are likely to receive a large number of angry replies, it's no wonder that they actually are seen by more people as a result.

"Let's hope that Google manages to police malicious and spammy links better, or it may become riskier than ever watching Youtube videos," Cluley added.

This isn't the first backlash Youtube's new Google+ commenting system has faced. Users aren't very happy that they can no longer post anonymously on the service, and have set up a petition to get Youtube to revert to the previous system. At the time of writing, it has almost 215,000 signatures. µ


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