YouTube adds filter to be nice

When the video-sharing site was sold to Google, many of its users worried that corporate ownership would restrict the con tent of its videos. But now one of YouTube’s partners is changing the ways that users comment on those videos.

YouTube, which is host to many official CBS video clips under an October licensing agreement with the network, has changed its layout for some of the Web pages with CBS videos. Most YouTube videos are embedded on Web pages that allow viewers to read user comments, with some of them listed directly below the video. These comments can range from the coherent (“That was hilarious.”) to the, er, less-so (“omg lol!”) to the profane.

The comments on many of the videos posted by CBS have now been moved to a separate page; instead of sample comments underneath the videos, a link to “view all comments” takes users to a separate Web page where they can read comments.

CBS began moving and filtering comments on some videos shortly after announcing its licensing agreement with YouTube, in order to remove “profane, unconstructive criticism,” and off-topic political vitriol, said Quincy Smith, the president of CBS Interactive.

To many users of sites like YouTube, of course, being profane, unconstructive, offtopic and vitriolic is the point.

“We just want to make sure the front page is a little bit cleaner,” Smith said, adding that comments containing profanities are caught by an automatic filter, while the remaining comments are then vetted and moved to the separate page.


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