Weeks ago, YouTube announced that they were finally going to do something about comments. I guess they felt that it was about time for a paradigm shift. I mean, it's well understood that if you want to go find the worst of humanity, YouTube comments are a great place to start.
Until now, it was probably wise to simply avoid venturing into the comment section on your favorite video. And actually commenting? Hah. Like I'm going to subject myself to that. But starting this week, YouTube says that they will be implementing the new commenting system. A better one, in fact.
The basic changes that YouTube is making to comments involve how comments are shown and how Google allows you to post a comment in the first place. Yeah, you knew it was coming - Google is now forcing YouTube commenters to link a Google+ account.
For starters, comments will be shown based on their significance by default (with an option to sort by recency if desired). What kind of comments does YouTube want to show you?
"You’ll see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles," say YouTube's Nundu Janakiram and Yonatan Zunger.
Also, say hello to true threaded replies.
Video creators are also getting some new tools to help them better moderate comments. "If you also post videos on your channel, you’ll have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans," according to YouTube.
More about that forced Google+ commenting system:
"If you want to keep using a different name on YouTube than on other Google services, you can still do that with the Google identity system," says a YouTube help page.
So, if you really want to stay halfway anonymous while commenting on YouTube, you could create a dummy account and use that. According to Google, they're not really seeing much resistance to the merging of YouTube and Google+ - they say that the "majority" have already done so. Still, anonymous commenting is something that many internet users value - especially on YouTube. Feel free to sit back and watch the fallout.
Image via YouTube