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Summary:

YouTube has spent the last six months cleaning up its act, implementing new community guidelines and welcoming more professional content. Now Ars Technica reports that the company, perhaps feeling the pressure from the Parents Television Council (PTC), is testing a new filtering system for video comments […]

YouTube has spent the last six months cleaning up its act, implementing new community guidelines and welcoming more professional content. Now Ars Technica reports that the company, perhaps feeling the pressure from the Parents Television Council (PTC), is testing a new filtering system for video comments left on the site.

Word of the new comment filters came from a message Google sent to the FCC last week. From that filing:

“This new feature, which is currently being tested in the United States, gives users control to set their own comment preferences by enabling them to choose whether to see all video comments, no comments, or filtered comments.”

The PTC has complained that YouTube comments can contain material inappropriate for children and has called on the site to do more to filter such content.

YouTube’s filing comes at a time when the FCC is examining the need for additional content filtering across more devices. Companies like Google and Microsoft say they have the situation under control online and that the commission should be more focused on content blocking for television.

GigaOM staff writer and mom Stacey Higginbotham tells us she’s all for YouTube being more proactive about comment filtering. To her, the bottom line is that parts of the web (on sites like YouTube and Google) are a lot more like TV than people would like to admit when it comes to a need to protect kids from inadvertently seeing something they shouldn’t.

  1. Yeah, just like we need protecting from terrorists, SPAM, illegal activities, and other such nonsense via massive country-wide firewalls.

    It starts like this and ends like Australia.

    –Kyle

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  2. Thee Stranger Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Unless they’ve changed it, YouTube says they’re not recommended for anyone under 13.

    In my 3 years on YouTube, I’ve yet to see any comment that would traumatize anyone 13 or up. Then again I see words as words, not some magic talisman with the power to potentially corrupt the youth of America.

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  3. [...] dramatic increase in commenters, many of whom represented the lowest common denominator in comments YouTube has become known for. Man Vs. Thing creator Rob Schulbaum said in an email that "Overall the series has become the target [...]

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