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Google recently made huge changes to the way the YouTube comments section works. Powered by Google+, and therefore requiring every commenter to have a Google+ account, the new YouTube comments section looks and feels different than it used to do so.

There were some major bugs present at the beginning that Google has now fixed, but the changes to the ordering of comments and the need to create a G+ profile before commenting aren’t going anywhere. And, it has to be said, the spammers and trolls still seem to be leaking through, somehow. So let’s get to the bottom of this once and for all.

The New YouTube Comments Suck Because…

We want to know, What Do You Hate About YouTube’s Comments Section? There are literally hundreds of thousands of people currently bemoaning the changes to the YouTube comments section across the Web. If you’re one of them then please take this opportunity to detail your complaints on the public forum that is MakeUseOf.

There is no question that the old YouTube comments section was far from perfect. In fact, it could be argued, and indeed was by our own Chris Hoffman, that it was one of the worst places on the Web. He offered some simple ways to improve the YouTube comments section 5 Ways To Improve YouTube Comments 5 Ways To Improve YouTube Comments YouTube's comments section is one of the worst places on the web. On an Internet already full of nonsense no sane, intelligent person would want to spend their time reading, YouTube's comment section stands out.... Read More using browser extensions, and even a way of removing them altogether.

However, while the old comments section stunk, the new one arguably isn’t any better. Most YouTube users are simply getting on with business as usual, knowing there’s little chance of changing Google’s mind on this one. But a vocal minority aren’t letting this one go, and have put together an online petition calling for the comments section to be reverted back to its original form.

[WARNING: The following video is extremely NSFW]

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. What is it about these changes that riles you up so much?

If you are, on the other hand, a fan of the changes, as our own Mark O’Neill is 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 , then feel free to defend your corner and counter the complaints that are sure to dominate our own particular comments section under this article.

Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published next week containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will win Comment Of The Week, receiving a geeky T-shirt for their effort. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. Brian
    January 5, 2016 at 2:44 am

    I'd like a way of blocking people from making nasty comments before not after so i don't have to read them,
    maybe the ability to list words i find offensive then if someone tries to make a comment with those words in it the comment doesn't appear,
    i comment on videos about 5 times a day and everyday i read an insulting reply and most of my comments aren't even that controversial, just me saying what films/games i like or dislike but i seem to attract the nastiest of trolls and when i try to remove their comments it doesn't always work, just wish there was a way of blocking them early

  2. Daniel Escasa
    November 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    First thing I've gotta ask is, what's the big deal? Sign up for Google + if you want to comment on a YT video, but you don't have to use G+ if you don't want to. I have an Instagram account I thought I had to open to use a Google Chrome plug-in but I've logged on to Instagram at most three times in the last five months. Adding your name to a “dead, failed” social network won't feed it oxygen. A social network lives on interaction and if you don't interact, it'll still be dead.

    As to its “death” — I have some things to say about that, but it'll be probably wind up being TL;DR.

    As to using your real name, it doesn't reveal that much about you, you can keep your private details private. Offhand, without doing any scientific study, the G+ privacy settings are easier to use than FB's.

    Lastly, @Steve Yegge, how many G+ users have you interacted with? I've found FB users far more annoying. I don't see G+ users posting their breakfasts or snacks or their toilet breaks. Well, I don't really see FB users do that either, but I do get lots of annoying status updates. To be fair, a lot of those are automated. And in any case, I take issue with your assessment of G+ users being annoying or “brain-dead bots&rdquo.

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

      I can't see Google killing G+ though, even if usage levels are low.

      I agree that G+ users are no more or less annoying than users of Facebook or Twitter. In fact, they're probably the same people on all three!

  3. Zach L
    November 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Huh. I commented on Youtube the other day and *did* notice that my comment had a box I could check to share my comment on Google+. . . which was funny, because I've very carefully avoided joining Google+, admittedly sometimes unsuccessfully. I wonder if they've somehow managed to enroll me in Google+ again without my realizing it! For those of you who don't know, if you have a gmail address (I have two), Google *really* wants you to join Google+ and will toss out little traps for the unwary, set up to fool you into joining up. I've had to dig deep in the system to force them to un-enroll me from Google+ twice when I've clicked on something I did not mean to click on when doing something gmail-related and found myself magically enrolled in Google+. I hope I don't sound too foolish as I'm not nearly as computer-literate as most of the commenters here, but I wonder if I'm the only one with this problem!

    Conversely, I have been quite annoyed when Youtube has cottoned to the fact that I've got another browser tab open where I'm checking my gmail and tried to use my full gmail address as an identifier to supplant my "anonymous" Youtube-only nickname, a nick-name I've had since Youtube started out. I've had to sign out and re-sign in under my old nickname many times--not difficult, but annoying. Why would they think I'd want to use my gmail address as my identification when posting a comment? I most certainly do not wish to advertise my email to the world, esp. to the gimboids and trolls who populate Teh Youtubes (now that I think of it, there was even a short period when Youtube tried to get everyone to use their real names when commenting--are they nuts?) There doesn't seem to be any way to set my old Youtube nickname as my absolutely permanent, stop-trying-to-change-my-name default identifier, I've checked. I don't want to do a flounce and abandon all as I have many favorite vids saved and I do enjoy having suggested-vids and subscriptions delivered to my gmail, but Google has become annoyingly persistent about everyone joining Google+ recently.

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Oh, I'm sure you're not the only person here who has signed up for G+ unintentionally. Google is being very clever in the way it's going about getting everyone to join.

      There is some sense behind the push for real names to be used on YouTube; it should alleviate the problem of trolls and spammers to some degree. But there are going to be casualties such as yourself who merely want to maintain some degree of anonymity.

  4. coleto
    November 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    1. Old system had visible like and dislike on comments. G+ does not support dislikes, so disliking comments does nothing that I can see. This is a big issue for me - failbook, g+ and many more only allow likes and you can't see is your comment is disliked or "meh"-ed. That was one of the big reasons I use youtube.
    2. You could reply to a specific comment. You could branch of a conversation.
    Now you can only reply to people in a one-level thread. You can try to quote the post you mean, and hold several conversations in one thread... or you can give up and go to some other site.
    3. It lets me type the comment before telling me I am not allowed to reply. Very frustrating. It needs to gray out the reply button, change its text, whatever.
    4. No way to set "newest first" as default setting for comments. That's two extra clicks for every video.
    5. Inbox is removed. The g+ notifications inbox suck. Very little "open in new tab" stages, bad management options, very little sorting of notifications by type. Made even worse by nr6
    6. If you unlinked and linked YT with g+ several times (first linkings sucked, splitting your history and inbox from your recommendations and subscriptions, and later linkings were mandatory) you could easily end up with several g+ pages (I had 4), with seperate notifications and notification settings. No easy way to merge them.
    7. When you expand a long comment the "see less" button is at the bottom - you need to scroll all the way down (there is some improvement, though, now they tell you how many lines the whole comment is before you expand it).

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

      That's a great list of specific complaints about the new system. Thanks for the comment :)

  5. André
    November 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I have to be honest that I am not really bothered by the Google+ commenting system. I actually find that the user's comments tend to (in general) be far more constructive and well thought-through. I find that people tend to give more attention to the comments that they give when they can't hide behind the anonymity of a pseudonym.

    Of course, using Google+ may seem "unfair," but since both Youtube and Plus are Google services, it makes sense that they would somehow merge the two. I suppose that it is their right to do with them what they want... It is a pity, however, that they didn't give a trial period to see how their users would react to the changes. So, in that way, I suppose it is unfair to force their users when they could have given them at least some leeway...

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:47 am

      The comments do seem to have improved a little, I agree, but as others have pointed out it's still possible to post anonymously by using fake details when signing up for G+.

      It does make perfect sense for them to do this, and I believe it is a company's right to do what they want with their services. But by doing so they risk a user backlash, as we're seeing happen right now.

  6. Paul-kristjan A
    November 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Bob comments explaining about the situation is even worse than the system itself. Yeah, I hate it and now I just don't comment, I was keeping myself away from this hideous monstrosity they call Google+ but now I had no choice, I was even keeping myself from connecting my YT with my Google account, it is inevitable.

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:45 am

      I'm afraid Google+ integration is looking inevitable for anyone using any Google services. I can see why they're doing it but it still sucks.

  7. Ramandeep S
    November 21, 2013 at 6:52 am

    The only good thing about new comment system is that we can now cancel our vote if voted by mistake and nothing else.

  8. Ramandeep S
    November 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

    1. I can't vote up old comments.
    2. I can't reply to old comments and also don't like new reply system.
    3. Google+ is the heaviest site in the world and if it color YouTube in its own, YouTube will become heavy like we are seeing in new comment system.
    4. I HATE YouTube Google+ linkage. The linkage should be optional and SHOULD NOT be Forced on users.

    • six one way half a dozen another
      November 21, 2013 at 3:28 am

      What do mean by "heaviest" site? Are you referring to the nearly two dozen cookies it places in your cache even if you are not using those parts of the program? (I call them Marley's Chains after Dickens)

    • Ramandeep S
      November 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      @six_one By heaviest I mean those quirky kind of graphics. Google+ contains lots of gif animations, everything is png. It's just very bad. If someone has Dial-up he can't even think of opening G+. From the time Google employed this new box theme, I never liked it. Google was awesome in 2006, 07 days.

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

      I love that description of it being "the heaviest site in the world." Very fitting.

    • six one way half a dozen another
      November 24, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Thanks for explaining. I agree. All of that takes forever to load, too.

  9. Diana Fraer
    November 21, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Who knew they even had a comments section.

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Wait, you've never ventured into the wicked wonderland that is the YouTube comments section before? You need to get out less ;)

  10. froshea
    November 21, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Comments posted attach to a specific and are generally not general in nature.
    Google have chosen to ignore that by shoving them all about.

  11. Terrorijin
    November 20, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    That you cant see them in another order like deceding by Likes or by replies... that aside its pretty interesting what ppl write , you can see all kind of things...The new settings though are pretty anoying

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Did you prefer the old comments section or do you think this switch to Google+ hasn't made much difference in the big scheme of things?

    • Terjin0
      November 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Not mych of a problem , just m worrying more about my privicy, plus i dont like G+.

  12. Tom W
    November 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    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.

    -DO NO EVIL.

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:39 am

      The way this was introduced suddenly was pretty shocking.

      You make some great points! I think your position on Google+ is quite typical; it isn't that you hate it, you just don't care about it one iota.

      PLaying devil's advocate for a second though, if you were Google wouldn't you do the same thing in order to push your flailing social network?

    • Tom W
      November 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

      I like to think that I am more introspective than that.
      My network is failing, why? Lack of active accounts.
      Okay: it's not hard to set up a new account, there's more people using social networks than ever before, and the account is already pretty visible for anyone with a Google account. Throwing it in people's faces probably won't work.

      The truth of the matter is that there isn't enough difference between Google+ and Facebook to draw people to Google+. You need a reason for them to use it before their friends do. On the face of it Youtube is the way to do it. In reality it only puts G+ into the peripheral vision, and it doesn't get people using the service on the site itself. That's what Google needs right now. Boots on the ground so to speak.

      Aside from that, even if they did become convinced that Youtube was a magic bullet, they should have taken more time and care. They should have actually offered something better than the current comment's section. To put it bluntly, they messed up, big time.

  13. Steve Yegge
    November 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    1. Google+ period. No one wants that failure!

    2. Sorting of comments is unorganized.

    3. Also share on Google+ is checked automatically.

    4. Comment section is fixed for pro Google+ comments.

    5. Spam is better, no character limit.

    6. I do not like to see Google+ comment on YOUTUBE comment section. Google+ users are annoying. They all seem paid by Google or brain dead bots.

    • six one way half a dozen another
      November 21, 2013 at 3:25 am

      Please explain what is wrong with Google+ further. Why don't you like it? I am not a troll, I just want something more than "failure", "annoying" and "paid by Google or brain dead bots" for a reason.

    • John Doe
      November 21, 2013 at 6:21 am

      @six 202,351 supporters think the same. NO ONE WANTS THAT FAILURE GOOGLE PLUS!!!

      https://www.change.org/petitions/google-change-the-youtube-comment-section-back-to-its-original-form

    • Dave P
      November 23, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Steve, is it the fact you're forced to use Google+ that is the problem? What, from your perspective, is the problem with Google+ as a whole?

    • six one way half a dozen another
      November 24, 2013 at 6:36 am

      @John Doe - first, I didn't ask you. Second, you provided the same vague non-answer to what is wrong with Google+ as Steve did. It is one thing to be angry that you were basically tricked or forced into using it (I get it), but that angry ranting does not explain what is wrong with Google+. It is my preferred social site. i used to read the comments on YouTube but they became ridiculously useless, so I just watch the videos. Facebook is just too nosy. Twitter is full of celebrity fluff. And on G+, I can use my pseudonym (not this one), so my privacy is intact.
      So just what is your actual beef?

    • six one way half a dozen another
      November 24, 2013 at 6:39 am

      I think they suck because it is still buggy and untrustworthy enough to keep me from actually creating a page for possible future commenting.

    • Kfir
      December 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      There's a character limit. I know because sometimes I've exceeded it.

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