YouTube has revamped its commenting system again, still linking to but not totally removing it from Google+, despite receiving major criticism when it switched the system over to its social arm.
Centralized and Filtered
The new comment moderation system offers creators a dashboard that lets them interact in one place with all the comments their videos receive. Actions remain the same: approve, deny, flag, report, view... you name it.
The other real improvement is that YouTube is allowing creators to streamline actions by setting up filters: approved users, banned users and blacklist. These will work, provided the discussion tab is activated, i.e. the creator allows comments on her/his videos and/or channel.
Approved and banned users is self explanatory. 'Blacklist,' however, has more to it than plainly banning a person (already in the 'banned user' category): it allows the video creator to select a list of words to act as triggers for comments to be held back and moderated before hitting the page.
Unwanted content, even by an authorized user, will thus be stopped short. Comments can also be held for review, in general, before they get published but the blacklist is likely to help sift through spammy content, on top of Google's dedicated spam recognition efforts.
Google+ will play a major role in surfacing comments. Contributions from people in your circles or from popular personalities (based on their Google footprint) will rank higher in the comments thread, along with your own comments, if you are the creator.
What seems logical from a search perspective seems to make little sense here: the search priorities may not be the creators' ones.
If anything, Google is also promising to enable features such as in-line replies or expanding all replies. Mix that with the popularity and circles algorithm we just mentioned and you turn comments moderation into a new headache.
It looks like another nightmare is about to begin. Let's see how Google finally decides to correct this, for real... maybe.