I was just checking out YouTube and noticed a strange difference, yet familiarity in their comment section. YouTube has just added a digg-like comment system where its users get to vote up or down a comment.
How does it work?
Each user gets to vote up or down a comment by clicking on the thumbs up or thumbs down icon. In the end, all positive and negative votes are calculated and a point score is given to the comment. For example, 10 positive votes and 3 negative votes will give a score of 7 to that comment.
Users get to set the “quality” of comments that they want to see. The quality range from great (+10 points or more) to very poor (-10 points or more). They can also choose to view all comments. The comments that are below the points set will be hidden. However, they can click on the “Show” link to view comments that have been hidden.
Benefits of this new feature
Occasionally, discussions in the comment section can get heated up and some people end up calling names and stuff. With this new feature in place, those comments can be voted down. Apart from that, users can also vote down comments that are inappropriate, spam, advertisements or offensive.
There are also videos that generate heavy discussion thus leading to thousands of comments. With this feature, a user can identify comments that are “worth reading” easier than previously.
This new feature is definitely a plus for YouTube. I tried voting up and down a few comments. The comment that was below viewing point was hidden immediately after being voted down. However, I experienced a “strange behavior” with the comments after refreshing the page. There was once where all the comments were hidden because they were marked as spam. I am not sure if this is a bug though.