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New YouTube comment rules make everybody mad, right?

YouTube changed its commenting system, outraging users.

In an ongoing effort to improve the quality of comments on the company's video site YouTube and to "encourage" people to sign up for it's social network Google+, the company has linked the two. As Google rolled out a new commenting policy this week, that forces users to be signed up for Google+ in order to post comments on YouTube videos.

That has not made the Internet very happy. In fact, nearly 100,000 people have signed a change.org petition for YouTube to repeal its new policy.

At the same time, many observers say YouTube comments needed to be overhauled.

"YouTube comments are notorious for being awful: Lewd, sexist, angry, spam," says Lindsay Turrentine, the editor-in-chief of reviews at CNET. "It's a problem that Google presumably wants to solve."

Other sites have changed their commenting policies recently, including ESPN, which has shifted their commenting system to Facebook. The magazine Popular Science did away with commenting on articles altogether.

"I still applaud what YouTube is trying to do here," writes Mashable's Chris Taylor in an op-ed titled, "Did YouTube Just Kill Its Comments — or Save Them?" "It wasn't something that could be solved with a few tweaks here or there. The entire culture of anonymous commenting on videos needed to go."

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim had only posted one thing ever to YouTube (the very first video ever, in fact), until he posted a NSFW comment expressing unhappiness with the new rules.

And yet...

"I believe resistance is completely futile," says CNET's Turrentine. "Here's the thing: You can't escape Google."

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.
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It took me a day to realize that I like the format of the youtube comments themselves, but they're clearly setting up Google Plus to be a data mining powerhouse, and that's a deal breaker for me. Imagine a site as aggressive as Facebook at going after your data, but instead of just being a social network it's linked to your emails, your blogs, your searches, your online backup. That's what Google plus looks like. They're working toward making G+ the hub of all of Facebook services, the one central login.

Cleaning up the comments? Please. It would be child's play for them to allow us to globally block belligerent users from our youtube. Simple and effective. In the months to come, they're going to make G+ necessary for all of Google's services, and they're always going to have a cover story to justify forcing G+

I was mad about it for a while, raging so hard that I could feel the blood pulsing in my fingertips, but there's no point in staying mad. This is Google's sandbox, and I intend to greatly scale back my involvement with Google. I'm going to use YouTube without comments, and embed all my videos on a blog to be discussed there. Vimeo will be my main video page, but youtbe has the audience, so I'll be posting them there as an alternative, but with a link to Vimeo. I'm searching for a new email provider, and a new host for my blog. I'll still use Google for search, but without logging in.

I am always amazed how much people will complain about something they get for free.

Have you ever read comments on YouTube? Personally, I say "Hurray, Google!".

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