Google pleads for YouTube real-name use

Filed Under: Featured, Google, Privacy, Social networks

Google has been trying, sweetly, a little pathetically, and ultimately futilely, to clean up the inflamed boil that is YouTube commentary, by pleading with commenters to use real names when posting.

YouTube full name image courtesy of YouTube blog

In late June Google introduced the first pleading nudge toward real name usage on YouTube, giving - not requiring, mind you - users the ability to use their Google+ profiles on their YouTube channels.

Here's a blueprint of the begging sequence, adapted from PCWorld's rendition.

(For some reason, Google didn't ask me to use my real name when I commented on an Eddie Izzard clip to test it all out):

  1. A YouTube user attempts to comment on a video.
  2. A box pops up asking that person to start using their full name.
  3. The person's name is taken from his/her Google+ account, since Google requires the real name of someone signing up for a Google+ account (unless you're a celebrity, that is).
  4. After the "start using your full name" box appears, users can refuse to start using their real names.
  5. If users refrain from using their full names, another pop-up asks them to justify the decision by selecting from choices that include:
    • My channel is for show or character.
    • My channel is for a music artist of group.
    • My channel is for a product, business or organization.
    • My channel is well-known for other reasons.
    • My channel is for personal use, but I cannot use my real name.
    • I'm not sure, I'll decide later.

According to people who find themselves on the receiving end of such a request, Google next offers to help users review their YouTube content before their full names are displayed and makes clear that they can switch back to usernames at any time.

After three weeks of this prodding, the verdict is in: YouTube comments are still a vile swamp.

Rather than replicate a string of comments that would demonstrate the persistently speaking-from-the-sphincter nature of a lot of YouTube commentary but which would also necessitate the overuse of asterisks to avoid profanity, I'll point you to a representative list compiled by Gizmodo's Leslie Horn.

YouTube login, courtesy of ShutterstockThe list shows that much of YouTube's commentary content, regardless of whether it's posted by people with real names or pseudonyms, remains, as Horn notes, racist, ignorant, creepy, underage, psychotic, incoherent, homophobic, and/or, to be euphemistic, sphincter-ish.

If there is one argument against real names requirements, it's that YouTube users such as the0nlyM3xicantSAG might not post entertaining commentary such as:

You seem like you have 3 brain cells; 2 of them are wrestling, and the other one's eating glue.

Of course, there's been ongoing debate about online anonymity ever since Google+ banned pseudonyms for everybody except Lady Gaga and 50 Cent.

Are real names really about promoting online civility and accountability, or is it more likely, as suggested by Next Media Animation in its YouTube clip about the Google+ nym wars, that real names are just a lot easier to sell to advertisers?

I sympathize with anybody who wants to elevate discourse above the Greater Internet F**kwad Theory, an equation that goes like this:

Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total F**wad.

But realistically, for many people, there are valid security reasons for not using real names.

A year ago, when Google first instituted its real-names policy for Google+, Kirrily "Skud" Robert collated a list of reasons why people prefer to use pseudonyms.

As of July 25, 2011, he had received over 100 reasons from people who had had their accounts suspended by Google for name-related reasons.

Here are some:

Hidden identity, courtesy of Shutterstock

  • "I do not feel safe using my real name online as I have had people track me down from my online presence and had coworkers invade my private life."
  • "I’ve been stalked. I’m a rape survivor. I am a government employee that is prohibited from using my IRL."
  • "I’ve been using this name for over 10 years in the 'hacking' community. There are a nontrivial amount of people who know me *only* by that name."
  • "We get death threats at the blog, so while I’m not all that concerned with, you know, sane people finding me. I just don’t overly share information and use a pen name."
  • "This identity was used to protect my real identity as I am gay and my family live in a small village where if it were openly known that their son was gay they would have problems."
  • "I have privacy concerns for being stalked in the past. I’m not going to change my name for a Google+ page. The price I might pay isn’t worth it."

The profitability of selling real names to marketers doesn't even come close to outweighing the importance of anonymity to people like those in Skud's list.

Let's hope that Google learned a valuable lesson from the pushback it got over its real-name policy.

Let's hope it doesn't push past this current polite pleading with YouTube users.

Let's hope it never makes real names mandatory.

Let us know in the comments below whether Google's real-name plea has any sway on how you post online comments.

YouTube login image courtesy of Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com
Hidden identity image, courtesy of Shutterstock
YouTube full name request image courtesy of YouTube blog

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64 Responses to Google pleads for YouTube real-name use

  1. lynnea1 · 816 days ago

    I dont think making someone use their real name matters. You have their name; ok, then what? Are you going to send out the YouTube police to do what? There are thousands of websites that successfully control their user comments. Many of them physically monitor their sites, or ask other users to be moderators, to which they get some kind of reward for their time and effort.

    What it boils down to is this, if YouTube is willing to put out the $$$$ to stop the horrid language, they could do it. Will they? I wouldnt hold my breath, until and unless a real competitor comes down the pike.

    • No Way · 664 days ago

      With a name and a picture, you can figure out someone's school, address, work place, contact information... thanks to Google Maps you can figure out where their house is and have a nice picture of it to boot. And it's EVERYONE. Everyone has access to that kind of information including a lot of really bad people on the internet.

      If someone hated you and wanted to go to your house and rob everything you have or shoot you with a gun, the internet has all the information they need on a golden platter. If someone wants to harass you at work or at school, that's also available. If you're a minor attending school, some strange guy might show up one day to pick you up and say he's a friend of your parents.

      If Youtube really wanted to curb bad language, they'd just make a filter. It wouldn't cost a lot of money and filters are very basic to make.

      It's like everyone got a brain tumor all at once and forgot that there's plenty of reasons to not reveal all of your personal information on the internet.

    • aotearoha · 630 days ago

      Our real names are not necessary over the internet. The world isn't filled with good people, a hundred percent of the time. There have been people who have hunted down people over the internet, through even just a photo. Killed, assaulted, financially ruined, harassment.

    • YouTube TRUTH · 436 days ago

      It's just making it not as anonymous anymore - if you're about to post a hateful comment and your full name is also viewable (and searchable) by the whole world, then there's less likely a chance that you'll do it. People don't want their identity associated with something that could make them look bad. That's why the internet's anonymous feature creates such flare and trolls among comment sections, forums, discussion boards, etc. So by removing this anonymity, they're hoping people will remove - or not post - their unnecessary negativity.

      Although I have to say, a lot of the youtube comments are really hilarious and sometimes necessary for the idiots who upload these videos

    • Charli · 281 days ago

      There are very good reason for NOT wanting your first and last name posted all over the place. The main one is identity theft. A very real problem. 2nd privacy issues. 3rd safety issues There are nuts out there that would love to hurt/kill/maim someone they disagree with. Why should I have to give anyone my real name? It's a stupid policy that may bite then in the butt when someone shows up dead because of this policy. Any there reasons for wanting it are bogus. One of the reasons I served was to protect our rights and one right should be to use our names where and when we want to. NO company should force anyone to display their real name online. For those not wanting to display their names on Google and other sites...look for mailboxes that give you the privacy you want. one is hushmail.com If we don't fight back we'll lose our rights.

    • bob · 54 days ago

      I can understand Google's reasoning somewhat, since forcing users to use real names somewhat encourages them to be more civil. However, those who are intent on being douchebags in the YT comment section wont be dissuaded from doing so, and all it achieve is making politically correct posters even more insufferably politically correct.

      Having anonymity stripped does promote self censorship. This is something I've noticed anecdotally, and also recent studies show this also. Take 4 chan and it's anonymous system, and compare it to reddits moderated system and politically correct slant and you have an immediate couple examples for comparison.

      As for Youtube, users reacted by calling themselves stuff like Iron man, Bruce Wayne, Gandalf The Grey and Peter Griffon, and continued being dicks.

      As much as I dislike people being dicks, I support their right to do so more than I support the right of google to get people's personal information. Freedom of speech (as long as it's not hate speech) is a human right, personal information is not a corporate right, only a concession granted by consumers.

  2. mittfh · 816 days ago

    There's another reason for pseudonyms (even if linked to real names): say your real name is John Smith. There are probably hundreds (if not thousands) of John Smiths on the 'net, but as pseudonyms generally have to be unique, you're more likely to find the John Smith you're looking for if you know he prefers to be called DragonsBreath online.

    Added onto which, many people have online personas that are different from their real life selves, and may have different personas for different services, based on the profile of those they tend to interact with on the site. Just as Google+ recognises that people belong to multiple different social circles, and content that would be appropriate for one group to know may not be approrpiate for another; the concept also exists across the wider 'net: you may not necessarily want your colleagues to know where you've been on the 'net during your spare time; likewise, you may not want your social circles to what you do at work.

  3. HugeDick · 816 days ago

    Pseudonyms are linked to real names. Where is the problem? You don't like it? Don't read it. Freedom of speech is good, and pseudonyms encourage the shy. By their words you will see them and by their actions you will know them. Nice system. Don't fix what ain't broke

  4. Machin Shin · 816 days ago

    Of course they could just make there comments work like the ones on this site. You know, how they annoyingly vanish into a magical realm and wait for moderator approval before showing up who knows when. I'm sure that will work great and encourage people to be nicer, or to just not bother commenting at all......

  5. Not my real name · 816 days ago

    Given that anyone can set up an account using an email address and any first name and last name, how is Google to know what is real anyway?

    Surely they should instead use their acknowledged intellect to apply profanity filters to comments, in conjunction with 'bleep' robots that regularly scour the comments for undesirable/unlawful content.

    Forums and bulletin boards (remember them?) have always had some form of censorship - aka membership etiquette - so why shouldn't YouTube and other sites be the same.

  6. denim · 816 days ago

    It is all about selling real names to advertisers. Nothing more. A filter that rejects the whole post for just one attempted infraction would soon teach the teachable that only clean language works on that blog....duh!!! And who cares about the unteachable...do they have money to buy anything anyway?

  7. I had to link my Google account to my YouTube account so I could get better integration on my Android tablet, but it still only displays my YouTube screename.
    Why should displaying your "real name" be necessary for Google to sell your information to advertisers?

    It isn't once the accounts are linked.

    I suppose it is easier for Google to have a customer facing message about using your real name as opposed to just asking you to link the accounts so they can make money off of you.

    • Charli · 281 days ago

      Maybe what we need to do is let the advertisers know we're not buying any of their products due to these policies. It's what we're doing over at Yahoo over the "improvements" they've force don us that make both yahoo groups and yahoo email not work.

  8. EverWasThus · 816 days ago

    People talk as if using "nyms" is new or that engaging in anonymous flame wars is new.

    FidoNet (not the modern telco) which predated the public internet by at least a decade experienced the same debate and always opted for "let the community handle it" and was globally successful.

    But even before electronic communications, there was and continues to be postal hate mail, anonymous threats and anonymous junk. Several times over the past years I've received completely unattributed post cards inveighing me to embrace Christ.

    Banning user names is simply an invitation to mildly more complicated trickery to create fake electronic identities. It won't work and it does not good even if they somehow make it work.

    The tone and tenor of a community reflects the norms of that community. If people wanted to stop the twats, they would gang up on them in concert and eventually the twats would go away. But if you have a community made up of bunch of twats, leave them doing what twats do and join or create your own community.

  9. Internaut · 816 days ago

    This from Google; a company that allows anyone to set up a gin-mill style webmail (it ain't Email), account using any name still available?!

    [...]

    If people are forced to use "real names" just how will that be enforced? Will the user (I'm not one) need to provide government issued documents, a photograph and a lawyer notarizing it?

    Why not just get to it, embed those chips they have for babies and animals to effect recovery if lost, and they can just swipe their heads by a computer at any convenient 'head swiping outlet'.

    It's getting crazy-stupid.

    [...]

    I prefer using a "handle" a term used originally when computer communications opened up. That was before the Internet and yes - there was life before the Internet. A handle, pseudonym, aka, screen name, or what ever it is being called this week, offers protection from stalkers, Trolls, cons, shysters, and snake oil salesmen... oh, and the neighbour, wife, parent, child, in-laws, out-laws and so on.

    [Posted edited for length]

  10. I see the worst comments on YouTube of ANYWHERE on the internet, as far as arbitrary malice, hatefulness and obscenity. I have a YouTube account. I set the comment option to "approve before displaying". Not a problem as I have received < 10 comments in two years. It is a concern for business "channels" though. They could screen comments. Or prune and delete objectionable ones periodically.

    Why doesn't Google implement a basic NLP filter? Doesn't even need to be ReCAPTCHA. YouTube's user interface has never seemed all that robust to me. Google has been fussing with it a lot, recently. They need to figure out something that works, soon. Businesses, government, charity, schools, others, won't want to spend money to maintain a channel that has the feel of 4chan. Sometimes worse.

  11. Yeah, not seeing any non-evil motive here.

    Remember when Google used to say their motto was "don't be evil"? They appear to have sort of evolved past that.

  12. JG444 · 813 days ago

    What is the drama? If I don't want to give them my real name I will tell them it is John Smith. Are they going to ask for a passport or driver's licence to prove it?
    I like my privacy and if they wan't my real name I will go elsewhere rather than get inundated by spam from advertisers.

  13. Jack · 813 days ago

    Who cares anyway? Those who don't care and those that do will do what they want anyway. I have always figured what I say is written in stone and anyone who really wants to can find me, can, so I restrict what I say. If they think otherwise, they are very ignorant and/or foolish. What if I pick a name like Joe Dokes? Will Google know it's created? Where will you draw the line. And yes I believe that there are many that fit into the formula of "Average person + anon..." will still be around. Don't sweat the small stuff. IMHO.

  14. Sean · 768 days ago

    This is against the brands who have youtube channels on youtube. They already have ny video production that are active and the NBA will not change to David Stern according to what Google things.

  15. Anonymous · 742 days ago

    More accountability for less freedom of speech. I think I like it just the way it is. If I want people to know my real name I'll go out to the bar.

  16. rusureuwant2know · 688 days ago

    YouTube used to discourage the use of real names for users' protection. It's still good sense!

  17. Chris · 684 days ago

    Anonymity is the only guarantee of the freedom of circulation of ideas. By forcing users to adopt a 'unifying' identity, it makes it easier for despots to identify and eliminate those that challenge them.

    Two Thumbs Down to Youtube for pushing its Big Brother Scheme onto users.

    Our society has been slipping towards fascism for the past 15 years. This is yet another proof we will soon have no freedoms left.

    It's high time those in government started to represent us, The People and started to reign in the Mega Corporations who are intent on taking over the world.

  18. Xane M. · 684 days ago

    YouTube asked me and I felt like I almost had no choice as my name on YouTube, Xane Corp. Productions, had to be changed apparently to my name, as out of their reasons they had on screen, none fit me and now I worry if it was a good idea since I still prefer calling myself Xane Corp. Productions;

    THAT's another problem: Google should realize that people who felt forced to change were probably used to calling themselves their old username and/or their old videos said their username but then they changed it and then there's confusion in their fanbase/subscribers.

    Also, I typically call myself "Xane M." at blogs and stuff, not the name you see at YouTube now.

  19. Anonymous · 668 days ago

    Yet more evil marketing from that company that claims not to be. Google / YouTube really are bottom feeders.

  20. Anonymous · 668 days ago

    PS: the "because I don't give my real name to spamming cretins" was mysteriously missing from the list of reasons I was presented with for choosing not to hand my personal details to Google / YouTube. An oversight, surely?

  21. You already have control over comments. If you don't like them on your videos, shut them off. If you don't like just one, then delete it. Now as for videos that don't belong to you, those are easy to turn off as well. What you do is stop looking at those videos, then you won't have to keep bitching about what others have to say. Now I know, this only controls YOUR life, so all of you control freaks hell-bent on telling others what they can and can't look at, will probably not be satisfied with this, but hey, start your own video sharing website and you can control everything you want. Statists gonna state.

  22. AnonGuest · 650 days ago

    I wholeheartedly support pseudonyms on the internet forever.

    I wish Google would "get it." I wish they would allow them in Google+ and forget this nonsense in YouTube about real names as well.

    I don't think that people behave any better using a real name versus a pseudonym, although I do think that YouTube attracts a lot of young viewers.

    I think it has more to do with the demographics of a site and its commenters versus whether someone is anonymous or not.

    As for me, I killed my Google Plus account and if Google keeps inflicting its invasive policies, I will kill my Google account altogether.

  23. AMAZED · 636 days ago

    i'm reading this article (and others on the internet) and am just AMAZED at how so many people are willing to give up both their Securities & Liberties not for each other!
    BUT FOR CONVENIENCE!

    I'm sure Ben Franklin never saw this comming!
    YOU ALL DESERVE WHATS COMMING TO YOU!

    Now I beg anyone reading this watch Brazil (1985) before it's too late!
    If your intelligent enough!

  24. dfjad · 633 days ago

    i detest the idea so much and am so infuriated by the invasive popup that i'm not even telling them what i want or don't want or why. i just kill the popup as many times as needed in order to view/comment/whatever.

    bastards. my identity and my motivations are none of their goddamned business

  25. Bobo · 633 days ago

    It's NOTHING to do with cleaning up the comments - it's all about tracking you and selling the information they gather to marketers.

    About the only thing google doesn't know about you already is your name and your exact address (thanks to your wifi SSID, if your street is in google street map, they know where you live to within a hundred yards or so). They track your ip address across any site that uses googlesyndication (which is a shed-load). Tie that in to your real name and it's a marketer's wet dream.

  26. David Wilkinson · 618 days ago

    I close the window when the popup appears. Are they worried about having trouble finding or identifying me? My screen name is my initials and surname and searching on Google (yes!) by the screen name finds material on multiple sites related to... me and only me, so they can't say I'm hiding or aiming to deceive when in fact my screen name tracks me better than my "real" name. Idiots!

  27. Nathan H5 · 609 days ago

    Now it seems Google has gone beyond being nice and you are no longer able to post comments on youtube. It automatically removes you from the video page and locks you onto the change your name page and you are stuck there until you kill the page and have to look for the video again...

  28. marius stranger · 581 days ago

    i am using my real name on utube but google ask me to change it constantly and i cannot even post comment any more unless i change to a fake name i guess my last name is stranger but it is my real name however google do not accept it unfortunately it is not possible to contact google. my whole family was excluded from facebook for same reason

  29. Rachel · 577 days ago

    I've given up on YouTube over this stalkerish BS. Telling (not asking) someone to give you private information about themselves, then demanding a reason when they decline, then asking again and again and again for the exact same information that has been previously declined is stalking, plain and simple. Try asking any girl or guy that you work with for their home address and phone number. Then when they decline try doing it again every single time you interact with them. See how long you keep your job.

    It's hard to believe that even the greedy cretinous morons that infect Google's marketing department believe this to be anything other than a fantastic way to alienate users. Great job with that whole "not being evil" thing, Google. YouTube is yet another great product you've ruined with your greed.

    • ShadoMann · 532 days ago

      They had the best search engine. They should have just stayed with that.

  30. ShadoMann · 532 days ago

    I am always civil to people online. I regulate my own behavior. It's just a matter of feeling good about myself, for doing the right thing. And I don't welcome the quite rude and heavy-handed pressure from YouTube. I don't need the Google Thought Police telling me how to behave and making me wear a name tag!
    Let's face facts: Google is in the business of gathering information ...on you and me and everybody else. I would even go so far as to say they are dangerous.

  31. Echos · 531 days ago

    I will stop using youtube before I let them bully me into changing my username. I cannot believe the way they are being so freakin pushy about it. I just don't sign in now and all though my comments are only thank you for posting I just won't participate in the comments anymore

    • Anonymous · 339 days ago

      You really wanna stick it to them, close your google+. Youtube actually does something. We should at least have the option to close our G+ acct and keep google drive and gmail etc. This is BS.

  32. kendra · 516 days ago

    I have myself complained about vile, racist comments YouTube's comment section but l wonder what makes YouTube believe that the person's "real name" is their real name at all. "There is not way to verify that real name is "real." If the real name is fake e.g., John Smith, then it is no more revealing of a person's identity than the pseudonyms most people use online.

    • CommonSense · 491 days ago

      Very true. I could say my name is Samantha Grey, and it's not. But how do YOU know? Unless I tell you. But either way, I don't like this pushiness. :(

  33. Saffie M. Lowe · 475 days ago

    I post on several videos where former members of various religions have posted about leaving their religion. In certain parts of the world, apostasy is punishable by death. Should we ask those people to disclose their real names?

    I post about my atheism. I'm job hunting. Should I use my real name? Let's get real, being outed as [insert favorite hated group here] can be career destroying and life ruining.

    Swearing and vigorous insult exchanges are (like it or not) part of how humans communicate with each other. Where is the cut-off line, and who decides? Is it a moral decision? Is it personal preference? Is it paternalism? Is it snobbery? Is it prudishness? Is it thin-skinned? Is it being a nanny? What a can of worms to decide such things. The "F-word" is just a word. Is "damn" bad? Is insulting an idea the same as insulting a person? Is insulting a person the end of the world if not a crime? What happened to "sticks and stones?" What about personal responsibility? Can't a person simply block an offensive poster or ignore them? Done. There are tools in place already. The free exchange of ideas is not helped in any way by trying to be everyone's daddy.

    Personal threats and hate speech? Suicide declarations? Sexual predators? That's what reporting, moderators, banning and police are for (in serious cases and possibly impending crimes).

    And what of anti-trust laws? (Seriously, I don't know.) It just seems to me that these rule-the-world acquisitions create monopolies, stifle innovation, and compartmentalize the internet into the strong and the weak.

    What is REALLY going on here? Google wants to connect you so that it can refine its user profiles to sell more reliable data for targeted marketing. The excuse of civil discourse is a ruse. Of course I'm guessing, but admit it, something about this rings true, don't you think?

  34. BW022 · 472 days ago

    I'd rather put up with a hundred stupid, insulting, racist, etc. comments than silence one legitimate voice. A good argument or video can change your mind or make you think. That is good. Bad arguments, insults, racism, etc. can easily be ignored.

  35. Osiris · 461 days ago

    The point of the real name is NOT for advertisers, but for spying. Google is run by the NSA and since Google owns YouTube they want to use YouTube to spy on Americans. They don't know who you are based on your username and want your real name so it's easier and can track that combined with your IP down to find out exactly where you live. If you speak anything horrible about the then Nazi Germany like occupation of the new world order in America, then they will be at your house to arrest you within 24 hours. They are still periodically asking for my real name, and if they do it again I may just take my channel down, and only use Google for search and that's it.

  36. joe bloggs · 430 days ago

    Anyone using their real name online, particularly in any kind of social media (and that includes Youtube) is a bloody idiot. For one thing, as a UK citizen, my identity has to be protected under the terms of the UK Data Protection Act and neither Google nor anyone else has the right to sell that information to third parties.

    And don't try to advertise to me online because I have NEVER once responded to any kind of media advertising in anything other than a negative manner. All spam in my mailbox will be deleted at source as I operate a whitelist that only accepts mail from people in my address book.

    Our rights and freedoms as individuals is being eroded more and more with every passing day and unless we stand together and fight this, then the nightmare world forseen by the likes of George Orwell and others will surely come to pass.

    It's up to us to protect our privacy by any means necessary.

    Google, the NSA and all those other small-penised individuals who think it's big and clever to mind our business instead of their own need to FOAD very rapidly.

  37. If you think that Google cares about the civility of the comments section you are failing to realize the obvious. Google is not a person that cares about such things. It is a business. Anything that it does will be about increasing its bottom line. There's nothing odd about that, its capitalism. It wants its products (google+ it seems in this case) to make revenue. Integrating does just that. You can drop all the f-bombs you want, as long as you are clicking on those advertisements. But yea, the crap is annoying.

  38. Wallawalla · 367 days ago

    Google's real-name plea has no sway on how I post comments.
    I don't use my real name. I also don't subscribe to the hate-filled regurgitation that so many seem to relish in. Cleaning up is a bogus excuse. Google could easily stop this. They could also, just as easily, make Youtube a place to respectfully agree to disagree, if they wanted to. Simple, even to a lay person. Instead of setting boundaries of respect [remember what that is?], they sit back and watch, allowing what amounts to the vilest attacks and most extreme comments seen on the internet. As another noted, forums have always had some form of censorship - aka membership etiquette - so why doesn't YouTube. It's not rocket science.

    If they enforce real-name use, I will finally be pushed to part ways & say good riddance.

  39. Ima Gettlost · 363 days ago

    Just make up a name to use. If it's a 'real' name they require, why not give them one? Like Ima Gettlost?

  40. Google is deluded. Privacy is one of things you don't appreciate until it no longer exists.

    We already have a massively censored news delivery system. How much worse do you want it?

    When they line people up against the wall and start shooting them in 20 years - it'll be because of something you wrote using your 'real name' a long time ago.

    That's a pessimistic outlook, but not an impossible outcome.

  41. And it has nothing to do with language. It has to do with the suppression of political ideas.

  42. Only1Tottenham · 348 days ago

    I certainly wont succumb to their bullying. I just keep deleting the prompt requests that appear. Sod 'em...!!!

  43. Samuel Lourenço · 345 days ago

    Well, YouTube is enforcing real names now. It I'm to post a comment, I must choose my real name to do it. Guess I'll leave youtube.

  44. Anonymous · 326 days ago

    I think Google is wrong for wanting to clean up YouTube commentary -- assuming that even is one of their goals. So, people say ignorant things sometimes. Free expression is healthy, sticks and stones may break my bones, and the easily offended should take personal responsibility for their own emotional sensitivity. After all, we all know we're not going to put an end to bigotry by simply censoring it.

  45. Stop merging everything · 297 days ago

    With the increase of ease and creepiness of stalker cases, pedophilia and the like, its completely idiotic to hear Google wants to INCREASE this ease. Why don't we just start signing in with our SIN? RETARDS. Anonymity not only provides privacy and security, and it also allows for 100% honesty. Thats where the world should be headed.

    I would not be surprised if the NSA is partnered with Google, what a perfect highly unsuspecting way to snoop even more. I severely doubt that a real name thing would be for individual marketing. If any execs are reading this I'm letting you know I would be LESS likely to go back to your website if you bombard me with your stupid ads, and flashes that I don't care to see.

    Often times, these ads are interrupting my videos, distracting from my main purpose, and most especially lagging my computer. So if there are others out there like me, that means more marketing = LESS revisits. Less hits = less business.

    I'm pretty sure this is opposite of what you want is it not? How about you let people look for things when they want something??

  46. ANGU RANSOM · 242 days ago

    I think GOOGLE just want to make the online world very similar to the offline wall. when you want to give a public speech you must introduce yourself to the public and for sure the public can track you too.

  47. Mark · 168 days ago

    Yeah google keeps changing my log on id to my name when i log onto youtube. They are starting to annoy my I am seriously thinking of deleting all my account on gmail google+ youtube etc
    I Dont like being bullied by the big corporation they make enough money without knowing my real name.!

  48. shameongoogle · 106 days ago

    I don't need a "legitimate" reason to want anonymity. I have a right to anonymity. No, I'm not nasty to anyone because fighting drains me emotionally and people are stupid. But if I want to comment on a video of a sexual nature or express a controversial opinion, why should I have to use my real name? I'd rather never post a youtube comment again than give in to this coercion. This is destroying people's freedom to express with themselves. It is destroying discussion. And as for those sheeple who happily go and use their real name, I can only shake my head. FYI: They have officially made it mandatory.

  49. Anonymous · 81 days ago

    To Google:
    Just disable comments on youtube alltogether. The world will be a happier place after that.

  50. Anonymous · 40 days ago

    some idiots think there is no way for anyone to find out they posted a stupid comment. making death threats to say a leader of a country, they can have as much information about the poster to get them started on the quest to identify the person in a couple hours.

  51. mahituna · 40 days ago

    if you need to hide behind some fake identity to post a comment, your comment is probably not worth reading..what are you afraid of? It is probably the main reason idiotic statements are made in the first place...people are cowards, they may make a statement that the Marines suck, but in real life standing in front of 6 Marines they wouldn't utter a word-heck 6, probably 1 Marine. Just cowards

    • Andrew Ludgate · 40 days ago

      I go one step further: for YouTube-related things, I have a completely fabricated online identity, with a fake "real name" to post comments. If I get into a real conversation with someone, I'll take it offline, and not clutter up the youtube comments.

      The thing about commenting on public Internet forums (including this one, which is one of the rare places where I use my real name) is that it is public to the world, and you know there are enough people in the world that someone will get upset at pretty much anything you may say.

      Using your analogy, imagine having a debate with a guy who says he's a Marine, telling him Marines suck. Then imagine ALL Marines and ex-marines stepping out of the shadows, and saying "oh, yeah?"

      Now let's move that scenario to one where the other "combatants" in the discussion may not be as honorable as most Marines -- say, one of the individuals who reads a controversial post you made has a proclivity towards Swatting, for example.

      It's more than being a coward, it's limiting your threat exposure, just as you wouldn't leave your entire network open to the Internet, it makes no sense to give away more information than you need to when broadcasting to the public. Sure, it protects the people who are hiding behind anonymity to say things they'd never feel comfortable saying to anyone else in public, but it also protects those who have something that needs to be said, without being at risk of reprisal.

  52. No, since you keep using your same current email address, there is no need to change any configurations on your devices.

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About the author

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.