Once you achieve Viral Nirvana on You Tube (or even the lesser popularity of appearing fleetingly on the front page), your comments will be filled with SPAM. It is inevitable – and there is almost nothing you can do about it.
Look at today’s statistics for the Christian the Lion video:
Almost 16,000 people took the time to rate the video (and it appears that they all loved it) and almost 11,5000 took the time to comment. But if you take a few seconds to scroll through the responses, you’ll notice a trend: the more popular the video becomes, the dumber the comments are.
At first, the comments actually spoke to the story. Then small skirmishes broke out between commenters. Finally, riding the coattails of the video’s popularity, the scammers, spammers, and porn distibutors moved in.
What Can You Do?
It is impossible to moderate over 10,000 comments. Of course, you can refuse to allow comments at all – but the price will be a drastic loss of viewers. You Tube promotes videos in part based on ratings and comments. Community participation is part of the Web 2.0 ethos. If you won’t allow the community to be engaged with your work, it will never be recommended, embedded, or blogged.
If you are truly trying to run a viral campaign, hoping to achieve over 100,000 hits – you must accept comments, allow ratings, live with the back and forth of viewers bickering with each other, and even accept the negative, nasty, and naughty behavior of some viewers.
Maybe You Don’t Need To Be So Popular
But if you are hoping to use the video to promote your business to a smaller audience, you don’t have to allow anomymous, foul mouthed spammers to damage your reputaion.
When you upload a video to You Tube, you have several options under “Broadcasting and Sharing.”
It is a good practice to monitor the comments and ratings on your videos. After all, you want to know how your work is being received. As long as you are taking the time to check in on your You Tube channel, make time to also review and approve individual comments.
You set this option by clicking on the “Allow all comments with approval only” radio button in the Comments section of the Broadcast & Sharing Options.
If the options are hidden, click on the small arrow icon next to “Comments” to expand the options.
Under Video Responses, choose “Yes allow responses after I approve them”
Finally, select “Yes, allow this video to be rated by others.”
These changes to You Tube’s default settings should keep the scammers away while still respecting the mores of the You Tube community.