YouTube Wants You To Comment Under Your Real Name
from the accountable-community dept
YouTube (famous for its often-awful comments) has never been completely open, but the majority of commenters use standalone accounts with pseudonyms. Now, according to a recent CNN article, YouTube is actively encouraging users to link their accounts with their real identities (via Google+, of course), not just by prompting them to do so but also by asking them to explain why if they decline.
"Try to comment on a video today and a window will pop up with the title "Start using your full name on YouTube," which will sign you in with your Google+ account. A YouTube spokesperson told BetaBeat that this option has been offered since June 29 and that users with a Google+ account will see the same thing if they try to upload a video.
If you don't want to use your Google+ account, you can refuse -- but then you're taken to a second prompt, which asks "Are you sure?" Then, like some kind of Internet degenerate, you must explain why you don't want to use your full name."
Now, this may be a tad irritating to anyone who insists on commenting anonymously, but I think if the strategy works to get more people to comment while being accountable then the benefits will outweigh the annoyance. Because if there has been any single great all-encompassing truth about the last decade, it's this: if you're looking for a reason to hate humanity, spend 20 minutes browsing YouTube comments.
Having said that, it's important that YouTube still allow the option to comment anonymously. Without that option, you may lose valuable comments from people with legitimate fear of reprisal if their name is associated with their words, whether that reprisal comes from friends, family, their employers, or the government. But being proactive in encouraging users to comment under their accounts is a good thing, which may very well breed a better commenting community.