Science proves that YouTube commenters are just the worst. They said it, not me!
Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews - with DEFINITIVE PROOF that YouTube trolls exist, science has
proven it, officially - and it is out of my hands!
A study published in PLOS One this week, conducted an extensive analysis of TED Talks, to see
if comments on the YouTube version of them differed from comments on the TED Talks website.
Now if you're unfamiliar with TED talks, they are a collection of recorded conferences covering
every intellectual topic imaginable - but always with a very inspiring slant. And they're
super informative, so one might expect the comments on them to be on-topic or, dare we
say, even positive. But once again, science has proven us wrong.
For their study, a team of researchers looked at 595 different TED talks relating to science
and technology, which currently account for around two-thirds of all TED talks. And they
looked at the comments on each video, comparing those on the YouTube platform, to ones on
the Ted.com version.
They found that 72% of the comments on the Ted.com videos were related to the actual
There may be small errors in this transcript.
content of the talk - while only 57% of comments on the YouTube version were relevant. Even
less surprising, 5.7% of the comments on YouTube were personal insults, compared to less than
1% on Ted.com.
The study also looked at the disparity of comments on talks featuring female presenters,
versus ones featuring males. And while there were no differences in the number of negative
or positive comments related to the actual subject matter - female presenters did tend
to elicit more emotional responses than males, whether positive and negative.
Perhaps most interesting, the study found that commenters were significantly more likely
to discuss a female presenter's looks - than they were for a male-hosted talk. SAY IT ISN'T
In fact, the only advantage YouTube had over Ted.com was that people were more likely
to engage with one another in the comments. And it's not clear whether personal insults
actually count as "engagement," but at this point - nothing would surprise me.
Now I thought this study was very interesting, so I did some research myself - and looked
at all 984 comments on this YouTube video about the science of flirting - a topic that's
sure to attract only the nicest and most socially capable of individuals.
Turns out - it's scientifically impossible to read through 984 comments on a YouTube
video - it just can't be done. So my study was inconclusive, BUT on the bright side - several
people did say that I look like a man, soooo......there's that.
You know what, I'm gonna start an anti-trolling movement. The next time you leave a comment
on YouTube, I want you to write the kindest, most overwhelmingly positive thing you can
think of. Even if it's not true. And you can start with this video. Please. I really need