YouTube Comments & Google+ Integration Causes Controversy

YouTube LogoGoogle now requires YouTube users to have a Google+ account in order to post comments.  The change has been so controversial that some discussions about the change have been so heated that people are resorting to four letter words.

One YouTube user even created a song telling Google what they think of Google+ [NSFW] (posted under her real name), while a social media professional responded by calling people names for wanting to post under usernames instead of their real name.

Some people welcome the change.  Comments on YouTube have historically been juvenile and negative, while comments on Google+ have typically been more intelligent and thought provoking.  The theory is that if you tie a comment to a real person, people will be a bit more kind.

But many YouTube users are in an uproar, posting videos and comments complaining about the change.  Some don’t like losing their anonymity and some simple don’t like change.

One concern is that forcing people to use their real names will cause people to self-censor themselves.  This can be good, if it causes people to be nicer.  But it also can be bad when it suppresses positive political, religious or personal discussions.  And there is also the concern that the more vocal negative YouTube users will simply taint Google+ by posting negative comments on Google+ as well as YouTube.

It should be interesting to see how it affects YouTube and Google+.  I am hoping the change improves comments on YouTube.  What do you think of the change?


  1. I think that all along Google has been calling Plus primarily an identity service for their other projects, and that people were missing the writing on the wall if this was a shock to them. Why would anyone build an identity service and not use it?

    If people really want to discuss things anonymously they have every right to stop using Google’s resources and host their own content somewhere. Yes, there are both pros and cons to taking away anonymous YouTube comments. Obviously Google themselves have already looked at all sides of this thing. They’re famous for a lot of things, and being stupid is not one of those.

    If people can be trusted to, then perhaps Google will allow people logged in through Google+ to someday be credited with their comments on the backend and anonymous on a post-by-post basis on the front end for other users. However, Google is under no obligation to offer services to people who pay nothing for them.

    You want to know what’s far more disturbing? If I respond here using Twitter, this site wants to :

    This application will be able to:
    Read Tweets from your timeline.
    See who you follow, and follow new people.
    Update your profile.
    Post Tweets for you.

    By Facebook:

    “”” will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list, email address and website.

    With G+, it won’t even tell me a second time what it wants if I close the window and go back to it. I know it wanted to see everyone in all my circles.

    Why does this site unaffiliated with Twitter, Facebook, or Google want to know my whole friends list? Where is that stored once you have it? How secure is the back end? Is the data encrypted? No offense, but I trust Google to keep my data secure far more than I trust a random blog. I work all day with compromised WordPress installations.

    • Actually, that is WordPress asking for that information. We are using their WordPress JetPack plugin for comments. I didn’t realize it asked for so much access. I know the blog owner does not get any access. I am not sure what WordPress does with it. Maybe I should consider changing the comment plugin I use.

  2. Just noticed that Google updated Gmail so that you can reply to Google+ posts directly from the email notification. It also works with discussions on YouTube as well.

  3. Eventually, if you are required to use your real name on everything you post, society will become more like the 50’s where you have to conform to “social norms” or be considered an outcast, because people will judge you. People were so suppressed back then. Anonymity allows people to be themselves, the good, the bad and the ugly.

    • I am not sure if we will ever go back to the 50’s. The cat is already out of the bag. We could wind up more like George Orwell’s 1984 or Brazil (the movie) if we are not careful though. Maybe not that extreme, but definitely elements of it.

  4. […] announced a controversial change where you would be required to log into your Google+ account and comment under your real name or […]

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