Google’s decision to integrate Youtube comments with Google+ has received a mixed reception, and the decision is no doubt controversial, however, surely there is an upside to this new set of rules?
Youtube co-founder Jawed Karim reportedly blasted Google’s decision to “force” people to sign in to Google+ before they can leave comments. Some commentators may feel pressured to join Google+ when they have no desire to. There is of course legitimate concern that it will change the Youtube experience forever, because up until now, comments have been essentially open access.
However, it is quite obvious that Youtube has been renowned for having some pretty vile, racist, and abusive comments on videos of all kinds. As it is very easy to create a Youtube account, signing in as alternative names or fake aliases makes abuse more likely. Sifting through those comments, even on popular music videos with 100s of millions of views gets tiring, and doesn’t necessarily represent the real views of people. So how do you get that?
Well, part of having a Google+ account means that there’s an extra layer of transparency over how you comment. Fake accounts on Google+ are less likely because, let’s face it, it’s just a hassle to set it up properly to look real (if you want to go all fake!). Secondly, in theory (I hope), the quality of comments should go up, as legitimate people give their opinions. In a social context, it’s actually similar to that of Facebook.
On Facebook we are “forced” to comment on videos or images within the Facebook account. We can’t go on Facebook without our social profile appearing next to a comment, so why can’t Google do the same with Youtube? It is fair game in my view, and I think that it will bring a better quality of experience in the long run. It will also make the experience of Youtube more social and more personal. Beforehand the commenting section of Youtube to me, was like that distant, have a laugh and leave some silliness forum, but not a serious platform for discussion. Now, I think I would take a closer look and get more engaged with the people on there.
Also, for filmmakers, actors and creative people, isn’t it better for them to have real feedback rather than just endless racial hate from some non-existent users? Like Charlie Sheen would say, it’s the “Gibberish of fools”.