You Do, Unfortunately, Tube

Have you noticed that YouTube comments are pretty much the bottom of the barrel in terms of incisive commentary and human compassion?

Here we have these people, in this free online community, sharing clips from and of their lives, with the whole world, with no personal gain in sight, and what to they get? Bombarded with comments from anonymous morons who were hoping instead for boobs or explosions, and are now angry that said attractions were not provided.

I'm all for open public discourse, sure, and freedom of expression, certainly, but the more I browse YouTube, the more I think there should be a comment-screening device built in there, somehow. Call me a fascist.

I don't care if it's the person who posted the video approving the comments before they go up (which would water the site down a lot, though, I'll admit), or a site administrator filtering out gibberish and personal attacks (very time-consuming, no doubt), or even something like what I see on Amazon, where after each user review of an item there is a choice for you to indicate "Was this review helpful to you?" [YES] [NO]

Furthermore, to praise Amazon for a second, people can comment on other people's reviews, so if some guy says a diesel-powered chicken scalder is crappy and you happen to personally love it, you're welcome to chime in and respectfully opine "I think you must have been using this product incorrectly, Featherfire62. The "fricassee" setting is only for birds of 6 lbs or less, and only with non-mineral-based oil baths."

For example.

*Then,* (if you're still following this increasingly disgusting thread of Web 2.0 discourse), site visitors who see your comment on his review can confirm whether your comment was worth reading or not.

See, it says right there on the site:
"Do you think this post adds to the discussion?" [YES] [NO]

Visitors can then go further an choose to ignore your posts in the future, if you're really annoying, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Comment moderation -- of some kind -- on YouTube, please.

If Amazon does it, and we can have a more enlightened discussion about which friggin' toaster works best, surely we can elevate the discourse about video clips.


Man, do I ever sound cranky! In truth, it all started with a series of videos by a guy I know, the guy who bought my old V8 Volvo, actually, in which he destroys (under orders; he's a dealership mechanic) cars traded in under the Cash for Clunkers program. It's hard to watch, admittedly, especially for a car lover (particularly one who has an almost pathological aversion to waste), but it would also be hard to argue that any of the comments "add to the discussion."

That, combined with some less-than-constructive comments on stuff I've personally posted on YouTube, have made me wonder why that particular community is so hostile and reactionary.

Not that I'm not an old fart and curmudgeon of the highest order... I am.

But just end on an up note, I'll paste in here a video I just watched this morning, featuring an elderly couple who are still so in love that they play games in which the winner gets a kiss from the loser. And they cheat at it.

It is, as our friend Brooke would say, "kind of awesome," and in stark contrast to the majority of what I've run across on the site. Maybe I just don't look in the right places.

(Oh, but to further my point, I'll note that in the margin of this video someone has posted a link to another one, titled "Old Ppl Makin Out," complete with comments from the peanut gallery about -- sigh -- grossness and throwing up.)

Still, there is this:


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That part about the chicken scalder had me ROTFLMAO!!! Where do you get this stuff, Col? You're nutso in the kabutso :) And ridiculously hilarious...and not a curmudgeon. For the record.