Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I may be mistaken, but I think the entire point of this recent change was to force people to use their real names and faces rather than commenting anonymously (due to the fact that youtube comment sections are typically the worst things ever), and if so it seems like google has actually achieved it's goal.

Now, whether it's a good decision to make it difficult/impossible to anonymously comment on youtube videos is an entirely separate discussion that I'm not taking a side on (yet), but I'd be interested in seeing a discussion about that here.

I see "improving comment quality" as the public excuse they use to keep you logged in to one universal account to make tracking you for advertising purposes easier. Binding this to a G+ account allows them to report that they have record-breaking activity on G+ every month, because everybody is technically forced to be logged into G+ to do any-goddamn-thing, and so it makes G+ seem like some tremendous success and makes more people "want" to use it.

The problem is that annoying the user doesn't really make them want to use it more. I thought G+ might've had potential at first, but seeing all the desperate crap that Google's pulled over the past few months has not only pushed me away from G+, but Google as a whole.

Besides, did anybody really care about the quality of youtube comments? Nobody ever read them with the expectation of gaining any sort of insight or knowledge. Even if this change does affect youtube comment quality, it won't change anybody's expectations of the comments. The only shift will be from "this video is totes retarded" to "this video is stupid."

Thank you for this! Seriously, I try and explain to people that the reason for conglomerating every service into one is to tell tales of high G+ user-base for greater ad revenue. It's like boasting about how Android has the largest phone deployment, while the UX and satisfaction of iOS far outweighs Android's ecosystem (no bias either way). Everything is turning into a big numbers sham with no care for the intelligence and technical navigational experience of user.

That's silly. The name attached to your poat has no effect on your trackability, being logged in does.

Where is the proof that "real names = better quality." That argument gets paraded everywhere but I've yet to see an actual study or proof of this.

Here's a recent paper: "Civility 2.0: A comparative analysis of incivility in online political discussion" by Ian Rowe of the University of Kent.


“an easy fix - anyone receiving welfare should not be allowed to vote anyway they are effectively children that simple change would shave about 40million off the voting rolls where they have no right to be anyway.”

“Many revolutions start with one small spark, President Obama has set this one off with his presser with the children and his use of the executive orders. The question is, is this the revolution that he had in mind? Time will tell.”

These are examples of comments the authors count as uncivil. They advocate for using real names so that people will not (dare?) post such things. I am of the contrary opinion. I think it is important that such opinions are posted and debated.

The criteria they used: "A three item index was developed to determine whether or not online comments violated standards of democratic discourse as defined above. If a comment 1) verbalized a threat to democracy (e.g. proposed to overthrow a democratic government by force), 2) assigned stereotypes (e.g. associate person with a group using labels), or 3) threatened other individuals’ rights (e.g. personal freedom, freedom to speak), it was coded as uncivil and the type of incivility was noted."

They also, separately studied impoliteness, which I assume we can all be in favour of.

Interestingly, they found civility increased, while impoliteness did not "However, unlike incivility, both [anonymous] Website and Facebook comments contained a similar amount of impoliteness."

Thus I would argue that the conclusion would be that using real names lowers the quality of debate.

Thanks for posting a first bit of data in this "personal anecdote about some bad Google product UX" trumps everything else thread.

So does that mean Google should not even experiment with the idea, just because nobody else has published data about it yet? Why does there need to be "proof"? It is Google's choice, just like it is your choice to use Google products.

I'm not saying they shouldn't "experiment" - experiment all they want.

It's when they parade out the idea that "real names = better quality" as the reason for a change - without citing it. Especially since it's such a cross-product change that effects literally every single one of their products.

I don't remember ever choosing to use G+.

I never said anything about choosing to use G+. You choose to use comments on youtube, and one of the consequences of that choice is that you must have a G+ page.

>but I think the entire point of this recent change was to force people to use their real names and faces rather than commenting anonymously

I think the entire point might have been to make user generated content as valuable as possible to advertisers by making sure every action on every Google related site can be directly linked to a real name and locale. I refuse to believe it has to do with anything beyond monetizing their user base.

Is there any evidence that adding real names to a previously anonymous service substantially increases level of civility?

Note that I'm specifically excluding sites like Facebook and LinkedIn that required real names from the start. I suspect it's a matter of whether users think of the site as being relevant to their personal identity. I'd even be willing to hypothesize that a random sample of Hacker News users considers HN more "real life" than a random sample of YouTube commenters who had g+ accounts crammed down their throats.

I though the option of using "G+ page" instead of your G+ profile name was there to preserve the Youtube pseudonyms.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact