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The YouTube comments system recently underwent a huge change YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ Google has cleaned up YouTube with a new Google+ powered commenting system. You'll now see the most upvoted comments, the ones from people in your Google+ circles, and from the owner of the video. Read More , with Google, in its infinite wisdom, deciding to use Google+ as the means by which everyone can comment on the most popular video-sharing site on the Internet. This change went down about as well as could be expected (hint: not well at all).

Then came the impassioned pleas for a reversal of the decision, a petition signed by hundreds of thousands of people asking Google to reconsider, lots of anti-Google videos posted to YouTube itself, and comments registering distaste for the change using the very medium which was being hated on. Ironic.

Google+, Schmoogle-

We asked you, What Do You Hate About YouTube’s Comments Section? You took to our comments section in good numbers to explain your reasons for hating the new YouTube comments section. The reasons given were many and varied, but most of you agreed on one particular thing: Google+ sucks.

First, the other reasons, which include the way comments are now ordered and organized, the lack of a dislike option, and how this new system doesn’t offer any legitimate improvements over the old system. Trolls and spammers are still hanging out on YouTube in droves, so what, people are asking, was the point of all this?

Google+ was the point of all this, of course, at least according to the vast majority of respondents. Google+, for the few people who haven’t yet been caught in its snare, is Google’s answer to Facebook, but Google+ isn’t anywhere near as popular as Mark Zuckerberg’s baby.

This isn’t for a lack of trying, however, as Google is essentially forcing people to join Google+ whether they want to or not by integrating the social network into its other services. YouTube is just the latest of these, and this integration has ruined YouTube for lots of once-loyal users of the site.

Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Steve Yegge, Zach L, and coleto. Comment Of The Week goes to Tom W, who won with this comment What Do You Hate About YouTube's Comments Section? [We Ask You] What Do You Hate About YouTube's Comments Section? [We Ask You] If you're one of those YouTube users who hates the changes to the comments section, and the enforced integration of Google+, then we want to hear from you. Read More :

Well, first and foremost it is an absolute abuse of power. Google is blatantly attempting to shore up a failing service by cannibalising a very successful property. This wouldn’t be so bad, but they executed it very poorly. No beta period, no testing the water, no tweaking, it was dumped on the users, and content creators and then Google employees were left floundering around trying to fix the huge mess they had created. But apart from that…
1) It put users at risk by allowing unvetted links to be posted by anyone. Facebook has put vast amounts of work into controlling outbound links, and Google failed miserably.
2) Only innocent users use their real name. Google has nothing in place to prevent fake names and fake accounts. If an account gets banned, a new one can be created easily, just like before.
3) Not everyone wants to use their real name online. It is a basic tenant of the internet to not reveal more personal information than necessary.
4) Continuity between online accounts. Most people online know me as Scutterman (and I was here too until login switched from Twitter to Facebook). Me commenting on Youtube as Tom means a lot less than me commenting as Scutterman.
5) Longer comments open it up to further abuse.
6) Editing of comments means that comments can become popular and then change the content to (for example) contain a dangerous link.
7) Comment ordering is partly by replies. This means that replies saying “This link is malware” will make a link more likely to be seen.
8) When the comment system first went live, there was no “report” or “downvote”, like the previous system. It seems like this has been fixed, but the omission just made some of the previous issues all the more dangerous.
9) They blatantly lied about their intentions. There were no benefits above the old system, and they labelled it as an improvement to the system rather than just coming out and saying that they just wanted people to use Google+. They can now claim artificially inflated user figures in an attempt to make it seem more successful.
I may seem like I’m against Google+, but I’m not. I just have no interest in it, and I don’t think that Google acted honourably here.

We chose this comment because it clarifies the whole sorry situation in a very digestible format. Tom gets to the heart of the matter by suggesting it’s not just about what Google did but also about why and how Google implemented these changes. The opening line suggesting that “it is an absolute abuse of power” sums up the feelings expressed by many who are opposed to these changes.

We Ask You is a weekly column in which you have your say about a particular subject. We ask you a question each Wednesday, with the results compiled and compressed into a follow-up article the following Tuesday. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

  1. Fizz
    March 23, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Google+ .... utter crap!

  2. Retro
    February 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Not only is Google+ crap ... point it out and the Google staff become Bolshie!

  3. Rachel
    January 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Google hasn't had an original idea in over ten years. That's why they need to buy other people's products like YouTube, and ruin them by attempting to bundle them with their crappy Facebook wannabee product in an attempt to mislead investors into thinking their awful product is actually popular.

    I'd like to think that investors/advertisers would be savvy enough to see through the somewhat transparent inflation of apparent signup figures that Google has been engaging in. But then, those investors/advertisers didn't demonstrate that much intelligence in how they invested in technology during the dot com boom a few years back. No doubt, just like in the dot com boom, they'll have to learn all over again the hard way that having a social network that's full of disused accounts with fake names and contact details isn't as attractive a prospect as they first bought/thought.

  4. Guest
    January 24, 2014 at 3:11 am

    All social media sucks. I don't use any of these sites -- G+, Facebook, Twitter, Pentagram, whatever the next big doosh site du jour happens to be -- because I seriously don't give a crap that Kim Kardashian or your mom just took one. More longform insights, please, and less Millennial narcissism. I myself could go on for a 1,000+ word rant about how my loathing of social media is why I wish Fallon wasn't replacing Leno, but that's a subject for another day (and another blog). Mind you, I too am a Millennial and Millennials are supposed to luuuuuuuurve Fallon. It's not that I can't stand Fallon so much as I refuse to patronize anyone who is immature and stupid enough to develop comedy material from f*king Tumblr, a site that can't even spell its own damn name.

    But that has nothing to do with Google, just that G+, like all social media, is for (dare I say it) "twits." Who cares about YouTube comments anyway? Most of their videos aren't worth twittering home about in the first place. Probably 9/10 are Family Guy clips while the other 10% consist of cats pooping, Justin Bieber, and Justin Bieber pooping on his cat. Again: WHO REALLY CARES.

  5. Jocelyn
    December 19, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I used to love Google and their ease of use. Now I hate everything about them...especially Google+. Instead of being an opt IN OPTION, they've rammed it down users throats. I'm opting out of all things Google - if enough people leave Youtube they might get the message.

  6. dragonmouth
    November 28, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Did I hear someone say something about an Evil Empire?

  7. Rob M
    November 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Google+ has yet to have any appeal to me. Turn it into a giant 3D engine and maybe I'll try it...

  8. Will
    November 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    As a social platform, I love Google+, and I wish more people would use it. The experience is so much better than that of Facebook.

    As far as YouTube comments go, it really doesn't bother me one way or the other.

    • Dave P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      I guess until more people do use it it's going to be a limited experience. After all, social networks live and die on their users.

  9. John Doe
    November 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Google+ is crap. Flagging comments doesn't work. Google should discontinue this massive failure.

    • Dave P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      There is zero chance of that happening. It's going to continue forcing people over to G+ whether anyone is interested or not.

    • Annalisa
      February 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      I generally don't care for social media since I don't need to put my business "in the streets'. I have a small channel and very few youtube friends who are people I've
      grown to like and trust. I resent G + being shoved down my throat. It has ruined
      youtube in that my friends are locked into their green circles(gag). When I saw
      this ever more insane means of "communication", vowing never to use it. I use my
      channel for self-expression but I'm sure Google hates me. I know I will not become
      rich from my channel and don't have the time, patience or inclination to use it
      no matter how "left out" I'm supposed to feel. G+will languish and peter out.
      Emulating the loonie facebook is an exercise in futility. I feel very alienated by
      Google and feel the infringement collectors were already repressive and ugly.

  10. Ada
    November 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    google+ is poo and commenting in YT is a annoying process now. I am constantly logged off, it looks like google hates me for having 2 separate accounts (google and YT) and wants my finger to slip and occidentally press... whatever they want. It's like a little nightmare...

  11. Spiffy
    November 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I like Google+ because I hate Facebook. Mostly, I just think Zuk is a d!ck.

    • Dave P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      That's as good a reason as any to prefer G+!

  12. Nick C
    November 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I think Google+ is a back up for FB

    • bben
      November 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Google + is a just a wannabe Facebook - I actually liked it when it was NOT just another FB clone and the focus was on the circles. Now they shove a bunch of crap in your face and show you a bunch of people you never heard of, and don't have any interest in hearing of to try to get you to add them to your friends list - JUST LIKE FB. I already know who my friends are, they are the ones I already put in my circles - I really don't need any inane suggestions because someone might be a friend of someone who might be friend of a person I have in My business acquaintances circle. As for commenting on YT - Who cares - 98% of what they have there is crap anyway.

    • Dave P
      December 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      You could be right. I certainly think Google wants to be there ready and waiting in case Facebook suddenly loses its mojo and everyone abandons Zuckerberg and co.

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