social media

YouTube comment regulation: a good idea from Google?

We have all in our time come across comments on YouTube depicting a drawing made out of various characters and symbols, otherwise known as ‘Ascii art.’

We have all in our time come across comments on YouTube depicting a drawing made out of various characters and symbols, otherwise known as ‘Ascii art.’
Google has acted in the interest of ousting these symbol-savvy commenters on YouTube by tying posts to its Google+ social network. 
The future of YouTube
But what does this mean for the world of YouTube? It is harder for users to remain anonymous – which seemingly provides more transparency and greater security. The great thing about this is that the notoriously annoying spam messages, which Google believed had “plagued” YouTube for years, can be tackled.
The US firm have put it lightly, as spam and Ascii art have of late established a dominance over YouTube comments – too many times have I scrolled down to the comments section of a video to find a picture made out of an array of underscores and colons, or an advert telling me how I can make $88 an hour working from home.
Scamming and spamming
Now internet scams are a big deal these days; practically every area of the internet is swarming with them. This leaves me asking whether or not Google’s attempts to improve the recognition of “bad links” will be effective.
The internet, being a global phenomenon, has been a means of money-making (legally or illegally) ever since its introduction; in an age where a teenage boy can hack into the Pentagon, there is potential for there to be loopholes in Google’s attempts to block links which contain scams. That is, unless these measures being taken come with a large investment of funds into detecting and ousting bad links. 
“Comment porn”
Another questionable aspect of the Ascii art which has taken over YouTube’s comments is the cyber-vandalism caused by “comment pornographers” – the term does indeed sound ridiculous and what it involves surely doesn’t disappoint.
These “comment pornographers” are people who post pictures of genitalia made out of dots, dashes and other symbols. As eyebrow-raising as it is, such internet antics are unsurprising, as YouTube comments are known for their shocking content. What is equally as shocking is that it should take something so ridiculous to probe such a large firm into greater regulation of its comments system.
Interestingly there is opposition to Google’s actions, with many calling for YouTube to return to its original form of comments. An online petition managed to produce more than 216,000 signatures, as many online users are in favour of retaining their anonymity when posting comments.
With comments being tied to the Google+ social network, users must provide their real first and last name when posting comments. The backlash against this poses the question of why online comments need to be anonymous – this only paves the way for racist and threatening behaviour over the internet.
Google’s decision to update its comments system on YouTube is definitely a controversial move. Perhaps the debate is not whether or not it should be implemented, but if it will work or not. Only time will tell if Google has bitten off more than it can chew.
Do you think that YouTube should have changed its comment system? Let us know below in the comments.
Photo: mauritsonline / Flickr