YouTube is now taking steps in the ongoing war against comment trolls who ruin the experience for everyone. The move is so simple, it’s hard to believe they haven’t done this already. All Google is asking is that users post with their real name, rather than a username or handle. Over the weekend, Google started asking users to make the change before they posted a comment.
This move has been slow to come around because Google has been keeping Google+ and YouTube separate, but this move will now allow users to see the Google+ profiles of those who comment, thus enhancing the community feel.
If you run a YouTube channel as part of your marketing efforts you may have had a run-in with an infamous YouTube Troll, either first or second hand. Quite simply, they’re everywhere, and they damage the user experience for everyone. If you don’t have time to moderate your comments, you may be forced to shut down the comment feature, which will prevent audience interaction. This is part of the reason Google wants to eliminate the problem, as YouTube is intended to be a community, and shutting down comments removes an important part of this community vibe. Trolls ruin everything!
However, many are still on the fence about whether or removing the anonymity will really result in less negative comments. Instead it might simply give recognition and notoriety to the YouTube trollers. The changes aren’t even mandatory, as Google has still offered a troll haven by allowing users to opt out. If anything, this will simply create a two tier effect, with legitimate users being personally hounded by anonymous trolls.
If you have no faith that this move will change anything, then fear not, there are alternatives. Some bright spark has come up with a YouTube comment converter, which effectively acts as a filter. Instead of seeing annoying comments like “first!” and “your dumb”, users will see various forms of “herp” and “derp”, which I’m sure you’ll admit is infinitely less annoying. It’s currently available as a chrome plug-in.