YouTube is testing two new features designed to address potentially harmful comments, with new reminder prompts when users include certain terms in their responses, and the automatic removal of 'Held for Review' comments after 60 days.
First off, similar to Instagram's comment warning prompts, which are triggered when its system detects terms in comments that are similar to those that have previously been reported, YouTube is trying out essentially the same process for its video responses.
As per YouTube:
"To help encourage more respectful interactions on YouTube, we’re testing out a reminder that pops up before you post a potentially offensive comment, giving you a moment to reflect on your comment and revise your reply/comment before it’s published. From the reminder, you can move forward with posting your comment as is, or take a few extra moments to edit your comment before posting it."
Such prompts are becoming a common way to address problematic responses before they're posted, with LinkedIn also adding similar detection and alert measures recently.
And they clearly have some benefits - Instagram expanded its automated warnings last December after seeing 'positive results' over the first few months of the test.
YouTube has been working to clean up its comments for some time, hiding the comment section by default, and even removing comments entirely on videos aimed at younger audiences. Prompting a quick re-think is the next stage in this broader effort.
In addition to this, YouTube will also test a new process that will delete 'Held for Review' comments after 60 days, if the Channel owner doesn't take action on them.
It's another way to eliminate unwanted comments, and reduce their impact. YouTube says that this is currently an experiment, and it will assess the results over time.
Both tests will be rolled out to selected users initially, with YouTube monitoring the response and usage.