YouTube’s new integration with Google+, a move was announced in September, 2013 and was recently unveiled has drawn the ire of tens of thousands of YouTube users from around the world.
This new integration requires anyone who wants to comment on a YouTube video to connect first to their account on Google+. However, this move has been met with some resistance as over 30,000 people left angry comments on the original YouTube blog post system. Many of these complaints are filled with obscenities, threats to fight and even vile drawings as well.
One organization called Change.org which offers the ability to file online petitions has several for changing the new system of integration back to the old YouTube comments. One petition has more than 50,000 supporters and the numbers appears to be growing. One of the most interesting facets of the petitions is that much of the traffic comes from Google+.
The controversy centers not so much on having YouTube Google+ integration, but the fact that now comments can no longer be anonymous if the Google + account use their real name. Many of those who comment on YouTube wish to remain anonymous. The controversy has even caused Jawed Karim, the co-founder of YouTube who posted the very first video back in 2005 to comment about the need to have a Google+ account to comment on a YouTube video.
The underlying reason for the move by Google is to make Google+ the identity platform for all the products and sites they own on the web. While this move has been going on for some time, it has now run into a large subculture of those who enjoy publishing anonymously on YouTube.
Now, the content creators will have more control over the comments made on their videos, block users and ban certain words as well. The change will also means that Google+ will arrange the comments of relatives and friends, which in theory means that negative comments will plunge to the bottom while relevant threads and conversations will rise to the top.
Lost in much of this controversy is that Google+ no longer requires the use of real names in their account. A rule that had existed when Google+ was first introduced to the public. So with that, anonymity can still apply to those who wish to comment on YouTube. Plus, Google+ accounts allow people to use nicknames or channel names as well.
In the overall picture, the rebellion by anonymous YouTube comment makers may very well be in the minority since millions of comments are left daily compared to the thousands who have signed petitions. It seems that the resistance to change is another factor in this switch to having YouTube Google+ accounts being required as well.
While in some cases outrages expressed online can force a company to change policies, such as when Twitter added an “Abuse” button after receiving complaints. But YouTube has actually dealt with uprisings of this nature before when changing services and the results were that protesters’ wishes were left unheeded. The appearance so far from YouTube Google+ about this latest uprising is that they are not going to change their policy anytime soon.