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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

YouTube tests hiding ‘hateful’ comments on Android devices in India

The new feature, being experimented on Android for now, hides the comments that are displayed below the video unless a viewer taps the “Comments” button.

tech Updated: Jun 22, 2019 13:38 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
YouTube testing new feature to curb hate speech.
YouTube testing new feature to curb hate speech.(REUTERS)
         

In a bid to curb the spread of hateful and racist comments on its platform, Google-owned YouTube is experimenting with hiding comments on videos by default and the test has gone live in India.

The new feature, being experimented on Android for now, hides the comments that are displayed below the video unless a viewer taps the “Comments” button.

“We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page. This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments,” a YouTube spokesperson told IANS on Friday.

Even though the test feature is on by default currently, creators have the choice of turning the feature off which would traditionally display comments under their videos like the usual format.

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not. Users who visit YouTube for videos and not to comment could easily keep themselves out of any hate, misinformation, toxicity or controversy that may have come up in the “Comments” section.

In February, YouTube announced that it would no longer recommend videos that “come close” to violating its community guidelines, such as conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos like those claiming the earth is flat or making false claims about historic events.

In a similar attempt and to channelise user-focus on sharing and viewing better and sensible content on its platform, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is also planning on hiding the ‘Like’ counts for posts on its app.