Feeds

Google: YouTube fights off HUGE ASCII PHALLUS MENACE

Pr0ntastic commenters are having their way with Google

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The integration of YouTube comments with Google Plus has led to a new wave of obscene comment spam and more junk, Google has admitted.

The search engine giant has pledged to stick by the new comment system, introduced earlier this month, while fighting, er, harder to eradicate new nuisances such as ASCII penis art and link spamming.

Google previously prevented commentaries from leaving messages which included clickable links, a policy that made life that much harder for miscreants trying to peddle phishing scams or attempting to direct web traffic to malicious or scam sites. The old system still allowed various forms of trollish and insulting behaviour, antics that could sometimes drown out informed or witty comments.

The Chocolate Factory's response to this was to introduce integration with Google Plus. The idea was that forcing people out from behind a cloak of anonymity would encourage more civil discourse. A no doubt happy side-effect of the move, from Google's perspective, was that it promised to drive extra traffic to Google Plus, which in turn would allow it to sell more higher premium "social" ads.

What's happened in the weeks since the change is that the flame wars in YouTube comments have continued while spam has arguably gotten worse. New nuisances have now entered the fray, such as ASCII art pornography. And, of course, Google+ allows users to post links so comments on YouTube that link to live scam sites have become a bigger issue.

In a post to the official YouTube Creators blog, Google has acknowledged problems with the "new comments experience" while promising to step up its efforts to combat various forms of abuse.

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.

We’ve worked hard to combat the increase in spammy comments and have made a number of updates, including:

  • Better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts
  • Improved ASCII art detection
  • Changing how long comments are displayed

We know the spam issues made it hard to use the new system at first, and we’re excited to see more of you getting involved as we’ve fixed issues. New features like threaded conversations and formatted comments are coming to life, thanks to you and your fans.

So what's next? We're moving forward with more improvements to help you manage comments on your videos better. Bulk moderation has been a long standing creator request and we'll be releasing tools for that soon. At the same time, we’re also working on improving comment ranking and moderation of old-style comments.

Users such as Swedish video games commentator PewDiePie (16 million subscribers and counting), disabled the new Google+-powered YouTube comments system entirely, in response to the level of abuse. They aren't alone in their criticism, with some petitioning for a return to the old system.

"Clearly Google has no intention [of listening] to those petitioning against Google+ being the basis of YouTube comments, ASCII art or no ASCII art," writes veteran security expert Graham Cluley in a blog post. "Let’s hope that Google manages to police malicious and spammy links better, or it may become riskier than ever watching YouTube videos." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.