Being a YouTuber isn't all fun and games, despite Google's best efforts at creator advocacy. For example, if you've ever paid a visit to the comment section of a fairly popular YouTube video, you're well aware that it's difficult for the average content creator to keep up with the conversation, let alone moderate or participate in it. Back and forths can often turn toxic, comments slip through that are clearly only there to get reactions, and off-topic comments can take over an entire comment section and displace talk about the original work, as seen on the official videos for many songs from around the 1980s that have been remixed into the popular Vaporwave genre. Up until now, the only way to control this sort of unfavorable behavior was to either painstakingly weed out each bad comment, or to disable comments altogether. Starting today, content creators have another option.
YouTube is now rolling out a number of options that allow content creators to take control of the conversations in the comment sections of their videos. For starters, creators no longer have to rely on users' "thumbs up" and replies to keep their comment visible to all; they can simply pin it at the top of the thread. The video creator will now also sport a red username, differentiating them from regular commenters and even other popular creators, whose names may bear the same gray bar underneath as theirs.
On top of the tools to ensure that creators are heard in their own comment sections, YouTube's blog entry serves to remind that the tools available to creators also include an option to set up a filter that will automatically block comments containing certain words or phrases from going public without a creator's personal approval, preventing comment section hijacking by off-topic phenomena or spammers. Creators can also earmark trusted users as moderators in a given comment section. On the new side of things, creators can also view potentially objectionable comments and decide whether or not to let them into the comment section for public viewing. This feature is in beta, and requires opting in. Finally, creators who are particularly fond of a comment can let the commenter know by leaving a heart on their comment. All of these changes are available as of this writing for all creators, and should make the YouTube community a little bit friendlier and easier for everybody.