In a software tweak first spotted by a developer forum, YouTube is toying with eliminating the comments section that accompanies videos on its mobile app. As it stands now, comments appear when a user scrolls below a video’s sharing buttons and “Up Next” recommended videos. The change would significantly downgrade the prominence of comments on the notoriously toxic platform, which faces frequent criticism for harassment and hate speech—particularly if it was considered for YouTube’s main web product. YouTube confirmed the experiment in a statement to TechCrunch, suggesting that hiding the comment section is just one software change of the many the company is considering at any given time.
“We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page,” the spokesperson said. “This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube, and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments.”