For about a year now, my seven-year old daughter has begged me to set up a YouTube channel for her fledgling video efforts (you don’t even want to know about the time I found out she shot video of my husband and I asleep OMG DELETE), and I have consistently said no. Both because she’s too young, of course, and also because there are few places on the web that are rougher than the comments section of YouTube.*
Well, YouTube has acknowledged this problem, and has finally decided to roll out a major change to the comment system that will hopefully tackle it: you will need a Google+ account to comment on YouTube, and as you likely already know, Google+ requires you to use your real name.
Very interesting, yes?
Now, I’ve had my issues with the anonymous internet (and how), but as my friend Anne Parris (cofounder of Generation Fabulous) pointed out to me today, there is a place for anonymity, particularly when it comes to political dissent in other parts of the world than the US. But this could make a big difference in the tone of comments on YouTube videos. Here’s more info from YouTube’s blog:
Here’s more detail:
Comments you care about move to the top: 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.
Join the conversation publicly or privately: You can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone on YouTube and Google+, only people in your Circles or just your bestie. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so you can easily follow conversations.
Better ways to moderate comments: You have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans. These can help you spend less time moderating, and more time sharing videos and connecting with your fans.
What do you think? Is this a good move for Google to make?
* You have, of course, had the option to close comments on YouTube for ages, but I’m still not letting my daughter create a channel yet.