It’s been a few weeks now since Google substituted YouTube’s famously terrible comment system for a Google+ based approach. Given all this time operating under their real names, one would assume the YouTube audience would have gotten their act together. Unfortunately for YouTube, this is most definitely not the case. Instead users have decided to fight back with ASCII art pornography, and regular pornography as well.
With the new comment system various restrictions were lifted because perhaps Google believed that with a uniform online identity people would play nice. With the character limit and ban on URLs lifted, there has been a rise in in pornographic links, jump scare videos and walls of ASCII “art.” And thanks to the new algorithm designed to give selective preference to “engaged conversations,” a lot of these controversial postings are rising to the top of the comment sections all over the site.
Suffice it to say that the content creators on YouTube are not happy. A post on YouTube’s Creators blog not only acknowledged major flaws, but it noted there has been an increase in comment spam. Regular users are so dissatisfied with the change that they say has made the comment sections even worse than before.
In many ways Google+ seems to be a silver bullet in Google’s eyes. If YouTube is broken, G+ will fix it. Why use Gchat when we have a shiny new Hangouts application? Picasa would make the perfect photo database for G+! But as YouTube’s legendarily immature comment regulars rear their ugly heads it’s clear that it’ll take more than one shot to keep the werewolf down.
Bulk moderation, threaded comments and auto-censoring ASCII penises are all tools that are on the way, but will it be enough to save the system? Since Google apparently has millions to spend on silver bullets, I have a couple of bridges that I could sell them.
Image credit: Extra Zebra