Some Thoughts On The Commenting System

As we’ve probably all experienced, there are some issues with spam comments on LBRY. I’ve had some thoughts about this and I thought this would be a good place to share them.

At the end of the day, comments ultimately add value to our experience on the platform. From that perspective, I believe that the community can serve as in invaluable tool in bringing undesired comments under control, while at the same time not preventing anyone from leaving any kind of comments that they want - spam or not.

I believe that a rating system could be implemented where each comment has, say, a + or - attached which allows anyone to give a comment a positive or negative rating. The idea would be that once a particular comment got a certain amount of negative feedback, that comment would immediately be hidden. So, there would still be an indication that there’s a comment there, but it would be collapsed and you would see a message like “click to see comment,” indicating that the comment was viewed negatively by the community.

I think that, with a solution like this, people are still free to comment whatever they want, and the community can also do something to improve the quality and value of the comments section.

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Great idea but i think that channel owner need to have rights to remove comments from his content feed.

This because we want keep comments clean, voting system is great for normal “bad” comments but it is too slow system for those “follow me” spams.

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I think that, in a lot of ways, the points you bring up can be addressed, while at the same time giving people freedom to speak as they wish.

I agree that a channel owner should be able to remove, or at least hide, comments they find undesirable - especially if they originate consistently from particular channels, such as the “follow me” spammers. As with the rating system I initially proposed, when the owner of a channel rates comments on their own channel (especially negative ratings), the channel owner’s ratings should carry more weight. So, for example, assume that a spam comment is made on a video. The owner of the channel sees it and immediately gives it a negative rating. This comment is now hidden, and requires a click from the user in order to see it.

Another option would be to have a spam flag. So, once a comment is flagged as spam, especially by the owner of the channel, the comment would be hidden. In addition, once a comment is flagged as spam, the URL for the commenting channel would be disabled. Not only will the comment be hidden and require a click to read it, but clicking on the channel name will not bring you to the offending channel.

Ultimately, I understand that this is a very difficult subject to deal with when building a platform. Spam is pervasive. But, I don’t believe it to be impossible to solve. I think the primary aim is to disincentivize spam in the first place. If a spammer realizes that there is nothing to gain from the spam posts, it will essentially deter the behavior.

Again, just some thoughts.

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We definitely want to do more in this area, just a few higher priorities at the moment. We’ve taken some time to do a manual cleanup of the blatant spam in the meantime.

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I’ve had some thoughts on comments and tipping and comments and moderation, in short: An ability to tip comments to incentivize better comments and a way for channels to be in control of what appears on their own content.

I had another idea, why not store comments like content is stored, on people’s computers? Add a thumb up and down which not only indicate whether people like or dislike the comment, but a thumb up also says to the app “store this comment on my computer” and the thumb down says “don’t store this comment on my computer”. What will end up happening is that only comments the community appreciates will be available because those are the only comments that will be stored on people’s computers.

So the channel owner can “hide” comments on their content, making it less likely to be stored by people and eventually disappearing, UNLESS the community actually like the comment, then it will remain, although still hidden.

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Good ideas but if we use just voting a way that others can view bad comments if they wanted. This isnt fix the spam issue because then the feed is full of those hided comments, with sender name and profile icon. We need be able to hide them completely.

In order for any commenting system not to fall prey to Sybil attacks, you will have to do at least one of:

  • Introducing costs (for the comments themselves and/or the ratings)
  • Introducing trust (A trusts B who trusts C, which allows for moderation webs)

Anything else is presumably abuse-able by scripted attacks.