There is a long standing trend on YouTube where people will, for lack of a better phrasing, hijack any give YouTube comment on a video for their own ends. This tends to happen after the original video uploader replies to the original comment: it seems the masses see this as a chance to reply where the uploader is more likely to see it than if they left their own comment. Of course, this is just outright wrong: the uploader will get the same notification for your reply as they would if you made your own comment, but still people do it.
Now, what is so bad about this? Notifications. You, the person who made the original comment, will get notifications for every single action on that thread. This means every inevitable argument someone starts you will have to see a play by play of. This means every time someone tries to suck up to the video creator, on your thread, you have to know about it. This is especially worse if you have email notifications active as, if things get heated, you could receive a small flood of emails in regards to your comment, only to see that no one is at all addressing your actual statement, aside from, at this stage, maybe the occasional troll.
Now, most of the time, this doesn’t happen. Things stay fine, but when it does, there isn’t much you can actually do about it. Google simply does not give you the option to control your own comment threads anymore, but at one time in the recent past, they did.
Before YouTube and Google+ were separated, you actually had quite a bit of control over comments you made. You could more easily delete replies you didn’t wish to have shown, and best of all, you could simply disable replies completely. It was the best method of denying trolls and thread hijackers the ability to annoy you. While I used this option sparingly, I knew times when I would make a comment that would inevitably be trolled, hijacked, or otherwise replied to in an unwanted style it would be better just to disable replies and let the comment stand alone.
Beyond that, the ability to delete replies was equally enjoyable. If someone did hijack a comment thread, you could simply and easily delete their comments, no questions asked. Sure, maybe they would come back, who knows, but you could deal with it easily then, too, without having to go all out and block the user.
Now? Not so much.
The ability to close replies to a comment seems to be gone completely. Comment deletion is now more of a reporting system which does remove the comment, but can only be used a few times before it mysteriously changes into a pure reporting method, that requires review, leaving the users comments showing until someone at Google decides it needs to be removed. Nope, no easy way to clean up those 20+ post hate chains that have nothing to do with your original comment.
Who knows, these options might still be around, but with settings scattered over somewhere around 6 separate settings menus, I can’t find a damn thing.
Many people treated it like Google+ being added to YouTube ruined the site. I would go so far as to say removing it has crippled it. YouTube is a mess right now, in so far as to me it seems to be a venerable haven for trolls and other chaotic people who don’t want actual discussion but just want to be disruptive.
I’m sorry, but no. Google, give people control over not only their channels, but comments and replies. Don’t make it a battle to maintain civility.