YouTube Comments Change Again

YouTube Comments Change Again

Remember YouTube comments before Google+ integration? I loved them. At last, people could publicly broadcast their opinions on the things they watched, no matter how ill-informed or offensive they might be. Some people complained that it was a breeding ground for trolls and that the rude comments hurt their “widdle feelings”, but that’s what comment moderation is for!

You can always block people or delete their comments if you are that affected by what an anonymous stranger said about your video on the internet. I always loved the fact that really left-field opinions could be expressed in prominent positions on the internet for all to see. It completely changed the hierarchy of information exchange, which is one of the best things the Internet can do.

Anyway, the whiners won the day when Google integrated YouTube with its irritating ginger child Google+, whom nobody could love but its own Mother. This meant that there was less anonymity as YouTube profiles were integrated with real names on Google+ profiles. This was supposed to make the trolls accountable. It kind of stifled open expression though because people are rightfully afraid to express certain opinions on the heavily monitored internet in the age of covert surveillance.

Now Google is back-tracking and allowing users to comment on YouTube without using their real names. This has been announced to the sound of YouTubers squealing with glee as they can return to the comment sections free to troll with impunity. YouTube channel owners are also glad, as they will no longer see so many empty comments caused by people simply sharing their videos on Google+ with or without a brief introductory comment.

Google’s recent changes will probably mean videos get more actual comments with more interesting discussions occurring. I’d also like to see a return to the old way when priority was given to the most popular comments instead of threads with the most replies because sometimes threads are boring and replies have no real merit but are given priority merely because they exist.

Additional anonymity is provided by Google’s decision last month to change authorship rules for Google+, letting you remove profile photos in search results. Perhaps Google is realizing that not everyone wants their name plastered across the internet all the time. Do you think this is a good development? Let us know in the comments.