YouTube now (kind of) lets you view a user's comment history

Google often talks about its work to remove hate speech and other kinds of negative content from YouTube. Today, though, the company is introducing (via TechCrunch) a new feature that can help with a different kind of unwanted content: troll comments.

The feature in question is a new profile card that gives you more information about any given user when you tap on their profile picture in the comments of a video. The card includes information about the user's channels, including the number of subscribers their channel - and the ability to subscribe to the channel yourself. If the user's subscriptions are public, you can also see the channels they're subscribed to.

But what's most notable about it is that you can view how many comments the user has left on the channel that posted the video you're watching. Not only that, you'll be able to read the more recent comments they've posted on that channel, and tapping those comments will take you directly to the respective video. Google is apparently promoting the feature as a way to connect to the community a bit better; it's arguably more useful to find patterns and understand whether a user is dedicated to leaving negative comments on a regular basis.

The scope of the feature is somewhat limited, since you can only see comments on the channel you're currently viewing. However, it's a good enough start to help identify trolls and it can help users filter out comments that don't add to the general conversation.

For now, the new profile card is only available on the YouTube app for Android, and it's coming through a server-side update, so you don't need to do anything for it to show up. It'll be available for other devices at some point in the future.

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