Two weeks ago I made mention of the Google+ and YouTube backlash and spoke more on what it meant to companies and their social media profiles. That’s primarily what we deal with here as we try to increase your effective use of social media.
I stand by my feelings on the Google+ and YouTube comment integration from those 2 weeks ago, but the continued backlash from YouTube users is prompting me to put on the unbiased hat and delve into why the backlash over Google+ now being a requirement for YouTube commenters is such a hot topic.
The petition to revert YouTube’s comments back to it’s previous comment system
A petition on Change.org, started by the appropriately named John Doe, is at the spearhead of the movement to revert YouTube comments back to the previous form. When I first looked at this story there were 65,000 signatures. There are, as of this writing, over 200,000. That’s hard to ignore as the mainstream media has even caught on, such as CNN and the LA Times.
The main complaints listed on the petition itself are:
- This is invading their social life by incorporating the social network Google+ with their comments
- It has taken away their anonymous profile
- That their are being censored unless they share the same world-views as ‘they’ do
What it comes down to for those who sign is that they wish to remain anonymous and to continuing using handles they have had for years.
Other complaints within the petition
Two other points brought up are that accounts are being suspended which mention this petition. A supporter has stated that their account was suspended by Google for telling other people about the petition itself. (Please don’t ban me, I’m just a reporter!)
Other claims have been made by those saying that they have had their YouTube accounts suspended. They advise their supporters to create a new YouTube account if they want to share this on the social media platform.
What is going on here between YouTube and Google
It is clear that Google has not handled this as well as they could have. Having 200,000 people signing petitions against you is a less than ideal situation for any company. More public consultations could have helped roll this out gently, rather than the ‘get ready here it is’ approach which they have used.
The thing about social networks, every single one of them, is that changes will be made. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of them evolve and change over time. Every single major change that I’ve noticed has been met with cries of ‘this sucks, go back to how it was!’ You should expect this to happen with every change on a social media platform as people have learned how to use it and don’t want to learn a new thing.
Change is terrifying to most internet users.
This petition does have some valid points on remaining anonymous and not interfering with other social media platforms and users real lives. The problem is that most YouTube users are not use to this platform involving their other accounts or in any way touching their real lives.
How to get around this is difficult. Google clearly wants to eliminate the problems associated with anonymous posting – that being the absolute filth that is spewed out in these comment sections. It brings them headaches which they can not solve using the past model.
Current users clearly want to remain anonymous and not be policed in any way. They’re use to their anonymity and want to keep it. These two problems have no easy resolution. The best move that I think Google can take right now is to listen to the complaints, address them and not ban accounts, if that is indeed going on. Open communication, as you should well know, is the key to resolving any relationship breakdown.
UPDATE: The requirement that you connect your Google+ and YouTube accounts was squashed flatter than a bug on the TransCanada highway. It did, however, spark some outrage at YouTube/Google that still exists and is ready to stir up again if they force their diverse products together again in the future.
Feature image via Vladimir / Shutterstock