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The Great Youtube Google+ Comment Debacle

The internet is ablaze (as usual) over Google’s recent changes to Youtube’s commenting system. When previously a user need only sign up with a fake name for a Youtube account to post comments, one is now required to use a fake name when signing up for a Google+ account instead. Now (complaints of) spam messages with obscene language are being lodged every hour, with a petition to sway Google towards reverting the comments back to the original system already at 136,423 as of this writing. I’ll give you the basics.


What is Google+?

Facebook? Twitter? I don’t know, but I saw the tiled layout and thought about Microsoft for a second. It’s a social network to be sure, but it appears to be different from the AOL-like walled garden that is Facebook due to it’s SEO capabilities. While a lot of us may shudder at the thought of our posts being easily indexed by Google, and thus being treated the same as a blog post, others who desire a strong online presence for networking and marketing might find this appealing. With privacy being a major concern for many people on the internet (the virtual counterpart to being in public), Bill Hartzer gives us a more detail explanation concerning how posts are indexed on his website. Google doesn’t look very fun for sharing image macros (yet), but its use as a platform building tool may prove beneficial to independent artists, musicians, and authors looking to make a name for themselves. According to Emma Blackery (YouTube celebrity of some acclaim), however,  it sucks. :/

What’s the Problem With YouTube’s Comments Now?

What isn’t? There seem to be a few. One of them is that YouTube’s new  G+ flavored commenting system seems to give priority to comments from Google+ users based on the number of replies–as opposed to the old method or prioritizing comments with a large amount of upvotes. “Wait a minute Ed West. Google is giving special attention to Google+ users on a Google website? No way! That’d be nuts!” More or less, it appears to be a matter of Google wishing to reward posts that generate discussion (of any sort). Another problem pointed out by several YouTube users and articles appears to be the spam cropping up everywhere since the new system was put in place:

Consider the nature of that picture, and gather your own thoughts on the spam. Another gripe is that the Google+ integration strips YouTubers of their online anonymity. Indeed, a lot of users are distraught that their real names are visible to the world (names such as StampyForever and alextab25). Perhaps the biggest upset is that this was “forced”, or rather, YouTubers can still log on and view videos to their heart’s content, but are required to sign up/convert to Google+ in order to post comments.

The Aftermath

The aftermath is as shown above: petitions and spam from disgruntled YouTubers. Meanwhile YouTube content creators such as TotalBiscuit continue to upload their videos, and people continue to view, but now the content creators are encouraging their viewers to take their commenting offsite to places such as Reddit. What will come of this? Nothing at all, but that’s only if you ask me. The majority of users will eventually adapt to the new system, jimmies once rustled will become still again, and people will be back to commenting on Youtube once again. In the meantime we’re given the choice of viewing TotalBiscuit’s video on one website and then discussing it on another. This isn’t helping the problem, but complicating it, and when facing such an option I think I’ll pass on posting comments about TB’s videos for now.