YouTube is undoubtedly one of the most popular websites on the internet, outranked only by Facebook and Google, the latter currently owning the video sharing site after purchasing it 7 years ago this month for $1.65 billion (£1.04 billion). The site has recently undergone some fairly significant changes to the comment system with users now being required to link Google+ profiles to their existing YouTube accounts or face being unable to comment at all, the format of the comments section of videos has also changed to encourage more active discussion.
Many users are upset by the new changes, pointing out that the additional features are causing more inappropriate posts than before. Including a range of comments containing links to malicious software, frequent phishing links, and several 500 page long comments. Content creators are among those frustrated by the Google+ integration, voicing concerns that they are unable to view and reply to comments effectively on their own videos as well as wanting to protect their viewers from the inappropriate and malicious posts – some are disabling comments on their channels entirely. One irritated user created a petition asking Google to reverse the changes which has now seen almost 100,000 signatures, there are reports that Google are removing comments which link to this petition on YouTube.
Networks so far seem undecided as to what action, if any, to take regarding the Google+ integration. YouTube networks operate through the YouTube partner program, a system that allows content creators to earn a percentage of the advertisement revenue from their videos. With the backing of a network a channel has the potential for increased earnings due to existing links between advertisers and the network, this is especially true for larger networks such as Vevo, Maker Studios, Polaris, and RPM.
If you want to have your say and let your voice be heard don’t hesitate to visit http://www.change.org/petitions/google-change-the-youtube-comment-section-back-to-its-original-form and make a difference.