YouTube to cut spam by asking you to comment with your real name

By Lee Kaelin on July 24, 2012, 10:30 AM

YouTube has begun “encouraging” users with pop-up boxes asking those commenting on video uploads to do so using their real name, rather than their online handles. In addition to this, Google is offering the option to link accounts with Google+, a move many say is an attempt to reduce the degenerative comment spam many associate with the video upload service.

“Starting today we’re giving you the ability to change how you appear on YouTube, with the option to use your Google+ profile on your YouTube channel. One Google-wide identity was something that proved popular with new YouTube users when we began offering it in March, so we are now extending it to existing users,” said John Fisher, a software engineer for YouTube in a post on the official blog.

Google’s video service has received its fair share of criticism for having some of the worst comments online, and the internet search giant has previously proven its distaste for members wishing to remain anonymous on its social networking site. It therefore comes as no real surprise that the internet firm's “secret weapon” is in fact as simple as making those reveal their names in a bid to make them think before commenting.

Users will notice the changes when they go to comment on an uploaded video, with a pop-up dialogue appearing, asking you to “start using your full name on YouTube.” The window offers you a side-by-side view of how it looks currently, alongside how it would look if you adopted your real name.

While it is still possible to decline Google’s request, you will be greeted by a second pop-up window asking if you are sure before proceeding to explain why you do not wish to use your name. Several options are available, including “my channel is for personal use, but I cannot use my real name,” although there is no option to say you simply wish to remain anonymous.

“We realize that using your full name isn’t for everyone. Maybe people know you by your YouTube username. Perhaps you don’t want your name publicly associated with your channel. To continue using your YouTube username, just click “I don’t want to use my full name” when you see the prompt,” Fisher added.




User Comments: 27

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Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Basically all the honest people are going to make the switch and the spammers will not, solving little to nothing. This won't make people think twice, just click twice and continue with their derogatory comments. Just now the people who do use their real names can be more efficiently tracked or located by other users, bringing up privacy issue to worry about. Anonymity is the single greatest part of the internet but at the same time the worse part, I like the option and wish it to remain my choice.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

One thing that /b/ showed me is that if people get pissed off at you enough they'll find you and make your life hell.

So its either all or nothing. Either everyone has real names or nobody. Too much of a risk to have your real identity destroyed because of some sad sack troll with too much time on his hands.

At any rate, not going to be a problem because I nuked my G+ account. And once I'm done with school I'm nuking my FB account. While I enjoy using it in keeping in touch with my classmates and people back home, all and all I got by without it until last August, and I'll continue to get by without it.

Having potential bosses ask to log on, shady people doing screen caps to try to embarass you, all that crap is not needed in my life. I have a big enough digital footprint as it is, a lot of which came from the halcyon days of the internet, but now its just too much bother and too much risk.

Get off my server you kids!

ikesmasher said:

I dont spam, and I dont use my real name. rofl, who wants to use their real name on the internet...apart from things like facebook or G+, obviously.

Tygerstrike said:

Good info Leeky, I like your avatar pic lol. Kinda of the whole deadpool thing. I also agree that putting your real name out there is a invitation to disaster!! Some slack jawed mouth breather with more poop stained underware then brain cells gets offended and they could make trouble for anyone. Yes its going to cut down on spam, but ppl feel WAY too secure sitting at a computer. The simple fact that any harrasment being done, is going to be done by someone who more then likely doesnt have thier real name out there on the internet. The attacking will be done and no one can/will help you as it is on the internet.

So good idea in principle, but Im not sure we as a ppl are not mature enough to handle information like real names.

wastedkill said:

If they forced it then.. well... no more youtube! YAY!

treeski treeski said:

IMO, commenting on YouTube videos should be disabled completely :P

noel24 said:

Well, now they're gonna have your name, phone, email, address, and everything in one file. Forget, if they decide you to sell you in bulk to a big advertising company, what if someone steal that data, like they do every month now. Personally, I wouldn't be surprise if soon they expect you to post your bank account number as a proof of your good will, except for those who already bought something from their android shop. Last month, after being bugged like hundredth time about my cellphone, I've setup new email on hotmail. Funny, I always considered M$ a dangerous, twisted monster corporation.

Tygerstrike said:

@noel

You are 100% correct on the information. Its just WHO has it. Everything you do is logged somehow and someway. Its just who is doing the logging? Any idjit can cross reference information. All they really need is a small tidbit of information to work with. Much like the idjits checking FaceBook for the guy who went koo koo in Colorado. Many ppl looked up his name and started sending hate mail to everyone with the name of James ......in Aurora Colorado.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

They Should make you go thru alot of hoops and popups to comment,

1. are u sure....

2. are you really sure....

3. are really really sure you want to do this....,

4. are you possitivally sure you want to comment....

5. are u sure...

6. really are u sure....

I agree as above " comments should be, DISABLED"

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For me personally, I don't feel the need to hide behind a false moniker. And since I'm not using a false moniker, I will not say anything that I don't absolutely mean to say. Hiding behind a false moniker allows anyone to say anything they want without any possible repercussions to themselves personally.

1 person liked this | Camikazi said:

For me personally, I don't feel the need to hide behind a false moniker. And since I'm not using a false moniker, I will not say anything that I don't absolutely mean to say. Hiding behind a false moniker allows anyone to say anything they want without any possible repercussions to themselves personally.

It's the people who will use your real name to find you and possibly try and ruin your name cause you said something they disagreed with that scare me and keep me using my nickname. It very much can happen and has happened before, until chances of that are removed I will not be using my real name on any board. I don't even use my real name on my Facebook account (which I only made to sign up for a few sites that require FB account), only on my bank and billing accounts do I use my real name. I won't put my name out there for some random person who takes offensive at some random comment I made to try and hurt me.

Leeky Leeky said:

@Tygerstrike Thanks.

Aye, was kinda suiting really as like TF2, always play as pyro and its a bit of an ongoing joke around these parts that I like setting fire to computer hardware. TF2's Pyro character seemed a fitting choice... haha.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

This idea is worse than using your computer to charge your other computer (laptop).

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I won't put my name out there for some random person who takes offensive at some random comment I made to try and hurt me.
I guess that separates those who are brave enough to use their real name and those who are not. I fear nothing that can come about from being on-line. If those that I live with are so dimwitted to believe what they read on-line over what I say, then so be it I don't care.

I do have one question since it seems to be on topic. How is a discussion on-line any different than one at a coffee shop, work, or family reunion?

avoidz avoidz said:

No way in hell I'm using my real name to comment, and I don't spam or troll or flame others. Part of the enjoyment of the Internet is having alter egos and avatars and made up names. I will never use my real name.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This idea is worse than using your computer to charge your other computer (laptop).
Thats not a bad idea, its a good idea. Why use two power supplies, when you can use one to power both PC's. Sure you may still need a designated power supply for the laptop but when both PC's are in the same location, one power supply should be sufficient.

Camikazi said:

I won't put my name out there for some random person who takes offensive at some random comment I made to try and hurt me.
I guess that separates those who are brave enough to use their real name and those who are not. I fear nothing that can come about from being on-line. If those that I live with are so dimwitted to believe what they read on-line over what I say, then so be it I don't care.

I do have one question since it seems to be on topic. How is a discussion on-line any different than one at a coffee shop, work, or family reunion?

On-line everyone can see what you wrote, in a coffee shop, work or family reunion only a limited amount of people can, that makes a huge difference. I don't think you understand what I meant by "hurt me", there are people out there that can do actual real life damage to you by knowing your name and general location. I mean they can hurt your work life and even personal life depending on their skill level and how much you upset them. Until they are all forced to put up their real name like I am I will not put up my name. I won't put myself at a disadvantage like that when my real life could be damaged.

Tygerstrike said:

@Cliff

Untill they have a way to investigate,incarcirate, and fine anyone who does use your RL information, I wont be putting my name out there. I think thats what the general idea is of most of the posters. There is no solid way to keep these individuals from abusing your personal information. It all falls back to the fact that ppl are too comfortable sitting in thier own home and commiting computer crimes. I mean they let ppl surf pron at home. Do banking at home, ect.

Until there is a way to put the ppl who hack your info in jail behind bars and never touching a computer for atleast 5 yrs, ppl wont willingly give out thier personal info.

Tygerstrike said:

PS LEEKY give us a full sized pic!!!!!!!!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Cliff

Untill they have a way to investigate,incarcirate, and fine anyone who does use your RL information, I wont be putting my name out there.

I can understand your stand point and also respect your wishes.

However with everyone using a moniker and giving the reason they don't want to be tracked, your request could never come to pass without the use of their moniker becoming invalid as a way of hiding from others.

Rippleman Rippleman said:

I too am like some others in this forum, I am not scared to post with my real name. I do not troll or flame or say anything that I don't firmly believe to be true. If you are scared to be posting something with your real name, then I guess you shouldn't be posting it then

Leeky Leeky said:

PS LEEKY give us a full sized pic!!!!!!!!

Just for you....

[Attachment: click here to see]

1 person liked this | gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I too am like some others in this forum, I am not scared to post with my real name. I do not troll or flame or say anything that I don't firmly believe to be true. If you are scared to be posting something with your real name, then I guess you shouldn't be posting it then

Its not about being scared. Its about some ***** who a) is crazy b) bitter c) has nothing better to do, decides that you rubbed him the wrong way and wants to make your life hell.

It could be just some neckbeard who you had the audacity to disagree with, that's all.

Its not worth the chance, especially if you own a home, have a family, or an established career.

1 person liked this | DanUK DanUK said:

Have to agree with some of the other comments.. either make it compulsory or don't bother at all. The people who aren't the problem will switch and the trolls won't.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I won't be posting with my real name for the same reason Gwailo mentions above. Online handles are really important IMO, and you have to wonder what the youtube management people were smoking when they thought this one up.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

And how are they going to PROVE its truly you?

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Thats not a bad idea, its a good idea. Why use two power supplies, when you can use one to power both PC's. Sure you may still need a designated power supply for the laptop but when both PC's are in the same location, one power supply should be sufficient.

LMAO!

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