Anyone familiar with YouTube knows that its comments are notorious for being rude, obnoxious, and incredible profane. The anonymous commenting system that was in place allowed anyone to say anything anywhere and get away with it. Sort of like wearing a mask on Halloween, people feel they can do or say anything when their identity is hidden.
In a move to give video creators more power to moderate and block comments, YouTube decided to integrate Google + into its commenting system. As YouTube described it, “YouTube comments will become conversations that matter to you.” These changes now mean that those leaving comments on videos would have to do so through their Google + profile. Thus, their true identities (or at least what their Google + identities are) will now be shown on each comment they leave, including their profile picture.
In the weeks since these changes have occurred, some very interesting things have occurred. It has now become clear that YouTube failed to realize that this integration with Google + allows individuals to include links and picture comments using ASCII text, both of which weren’t possible in the old comment system. This has lead to a massage spam problem through people leaving bad links and malware in video comments.
A Change.org Petition has been created which demands that YouTube get rid of it’s Google + commenting system. As of today this petition has 216,178 signatures. In response to this petition and all of the negative feedback these changes have caused, on Monday YouTube released a progress report detailing what they are doing to address these new spam issues.
Only time will tell if YouTube sticks with this new commenting system, or at least finds a better way to administer it. What have been your experiences with the new YouTube comments? Leave us a comment and let us know!