Six weeks after announcing a plan to fix the world's worst comments, YouTube said today it has begun the release of its new Google+ commenting system. Starting this week, comments will be sorted by relevance instead of recency. The hope is that high-quality conversations will rise to the top while ad hominem attacks sink to the bottom. Video creators are also getting some new tools to moderate discussions.
To YouTube, good comments are ones that come from the video's creator, "popular personalities," and your friends on Google+. It also includes comments that generate a lot of other comments, signaling the presence of a lively debate. If you don't like the new look, you can switch comments to "newest first" to see the full firehose.
From now on, commenting on YouTube will require connecting a Google+ account. The company says that four out of five people who use comments have already connected their accounts. Among other things, the Google+ link allows YouTube visitors to start private conversations about individual videos within their circles.
The rollout starts today but will take some time before everyone has access to the new look, YouTube said.