YouTube and Google ruffled a lot of feathers months ago when they instituted a policy that forced users to link their YouTube accounts to accounts on the Google+ social network. This move meant that in most cases users would be forced to use a proper name when registering to comment on YouTube videos. It was a calculated move to both increase the user base of Google+ and to also introduce an element of accountability to the infamously uncivilized YouTube comments section. Today, that policy has been revoked.
Many users struggled with the new comment system, including a number of YouTubers who found themselves unable to use the handles around which they had built their channels and brands. Though there was no verification process to ensure that users chose their real names, they were required to register for Google+ with a proper name. The hope was the most would select their real name, making users accountable for the comments in their real identity.
In a post today on their official Google+ page, the web giant has clarified their relaxed policy.
Users will now be able to carry over their YouTube usernames without the previous restrictions, and though users will still be required to register with a first and last name, users will be less put upon to use their real names. The move is described as a way to make Google+ more inclusive, but it also opens the door the return of anonymous trolls. While hostile or trolling comments haven’t been eliminated by the Google+ conversion they have been reduced. This may, however, be a function of a downturn in commenting overall.
So take heed trolls and other anonymous YouTube fans, it seems that for the time being it’s safe for you to come out of hiding.
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