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