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I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm all for this change, largely because of the crappy anonymous comments you see out there on YouTube, which was the point of this transition in the first place.

However, forcing Google+ onto people does have me wary as well. I don't mind using Google+, but it seems like Google's way to slowly worm their way into people using its social component. I admittedly am not sure why it affects me, but something about that does rub me the wrong way (although not enough to ditch using Google services). It's not quite insidious, but it does feel like it gives off the vibe that we are the product, even more than usual.

If you've seen what FB comments does on news sites - then you know that using real names doesn't really guarantee improved quality.

For many years, I was a paying subscriber to the online version of the Wall Street Journal. A highly select audience, you'd think. And yes, the comments on that were mostly rubbish as well ;-)

To be fair, it is the Wall Street Journal :P .

Using real names does not fix the problem completely, I agree - you easily see the effect on articles on politics on news sites, with the mass shill accounts.

However, I argue that it is a lot greater of a deterrent.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Anonymous Youtube comments suck, but anonymity enables people to express unpopular opinions. The real problem is tyranny of the majority. Attaching real names does absolutely nothing to solve the problem.

Google should be smart enough to build a proper moderation system and retain anonymity.

"The real problem is tyranny of the majority."

Tyranny of the minority, you mean. 50%+ of internet users are not racist trolls, for example. I suspect 50%+ of anonymous commenters are, at least in mass market sites without any Karma type system... like youtube.

I'm not seeing the problem in realigning global traffic such that 4chan and reddit get more troll traffic and youtube gets less.

There are plenty of media where people can still express them, including here. Reddit is popular for example, and still keeps people's anonymity should they choose so. I defend people's right to express their opinions, but it should not be the primary option to do so anonymously IMO - it has acted as a vehicle for people with unpopular opinions to repress those who disagree respectfully in many places online, rewarding overly aggressive people.

It is my opinion that that is a worse reality should it be the norm, and wish there was more pushback. I have developed communities that try to show a better way by example (& that preserve anonymity), but that route requires active moderation, something that would be too time consuming/costly for Google to do IMO (and would likely be subject to backlash from a more anarchist contingent anyway).

In the end, I work with the dynamic that exists in the internet to set a positive example - if people want to abuse anonymity, they are more than welcome to create their own communities that make that acceptable. I will just continue to work in my own circles to provide environments that allow free exchange of ideas with civility, and everyone co-exists merrily.

How has this solved the problem? My youtube account is still attached to a throwaway Gmail account. So what if it's now also attached to a throwaway G+ account that I never use?

> I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm all for this change, largely because of the crappy anonymous comments you see out there on YouTube, which was the point of this transition in the first place.

Up the number of characters you can have in a comment then and put some proper thread organisation in place. Regardless of what they hook it up to, there are limits to the depth of the conversations you can have in such a restrictive structure.

I think it should be restrictive. There's no reason for youtube comments to have the depth of threaded forums. They're comments - they're supposed to refer to the video.

If they don't, that's hardly the end of the world. Topics evolve in real world conversation all the time, that's how people think and make connections. The question's really how you organise things - how you filter attention, and what tools there are for that to allow people interested in certain aspects of the discussion to see the bits they're likely to be interested in. Not every video needs a full blown forum underneath it, but I honestly doubt that one would occur even if you made the threads groupable at arbitrary levels - there just wouldn't be the static central point of contact with multiple people checking back that a forum seems to need, (i.e. I can't imagine people would keep on and on reloading the video,) and some sort of decent threading seems strongly indicated.

If you lack such tools, it seems to me that the only things people are liable to post if you take the length restriction off is the full text of books to try and crash the browser, ASCII art of male genitalia, and links to some of the more ewww corners of the internet. In the time it takes someone to post something well thought out someone can post twenty ASCII penises after all. The low-effort to high-lols expressions seem likely to dominate over the high-effort high-meaning expressions.

Sort of like how Reddit decayed, but with a somewhat darker tone since the existing community in the comments is less well developed than they started off with, there'd be even fewer tools, less effective moderation and you won't be able to hide niche communities behind unknown lookup names as well.

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