- Trump quotes conspiracy theorist saying he’s the ‘second coming of God’ 6 Years Ago
- Parkland teens announce massive gun reform proposal 6 Years Ago
- Here’s how you can get a free palm reading online 6 Years Ago
- ‘The Matrix 4’ is happening with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss Today 7:17 AM
- Fantasy football 2019: Your team-by-team NFC preview Today 7:00 AM
- The 10 best science podcasts to teach you about our world Today 6:00 AM
- How to make sure you have access to every Instagram filter Today 6:00 AM
- Trump accuses Jewish Democrats of having ‘great disloyalty’ or a ‘lack of knowledge’ Tuesday 8:02 PM
- 1 million ‘anonymous’ users of popular porn site exposed in breach Tuesday 6:56 PM
- Khloé Kardashian angers followers with a calorie-counting joke about True Tuesday 6:14 PM
- Spider-Man may no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Tuesday 5:28 PM
- Robert De Niro’s company is suing ex-employee for binge-watching Netflix at work Tuesday 4:41 PM
- Intentionally misgendering a character could get you banned from Borderlands 3 Tuesday 4:06 PM
- Facebook pulls Trump re-election ad for targeting ‘strong women’ Tuesday 4:03 PM
- Kamala Harris says she will restore net neutrality if elected Tuesday 3:16 PM
‘Bob’ and his tank become the mascots of the anti-Google+ movement
This stick figure has become the face of the revolt against YouTube’s new comment system.
Like Gen. George S. Patton at the Battle of the Bulge, a man known only as “Bob” is leading thousands of tanks into the heat of combat. Only this battle is being fought online, and Bob’s foe is the unflinching behemoth Google.
Oh, and Bob is an ASCII-art stick figure.
On Nov. 7, Google began requiring YouTube users to sign into Google+ before commenting on videos. The new feature was quietly rolled out while the world gawked at Twitter’s initial public offering. Most of the backlash against the change has focused around anonymity, since Google+ requires people to use their real names.
High profile YouTubers like AlphaOmegaSin have created videos condemning the change. A Change.org petition imploring Google to rollback the feature has collected 134,000 digital signatures. And a day after the changes were made, Jawed Karim, who founded the video hosting site with Chad Hurley and Steven Chen in 2005, spoke out against Google+ in his first YouTube comment in eight years.
The most interesting form of retaliation against Google has been through a grassroots campaign called “Bob is building an army.”
Over the past 48 hours, YouTubers have blanketed the comments sections of some of the Internet’s biggest videos with ASCII art of a tank and a man hoisting his arm up in the air.
“Bob is building an army,” the caption reads. “This tank and Bob are against Google+. Copy and paste this all over YouTube if you are with us.”
So far we’ve seen the ASCII art in the comment sections of videos from Justin Bieber, Psy, and Lady Gaga. (Click to enlarge.)
Another “air support” variation of the ASCII art has also been seen in the comment section for Ylvis’s “The Fox.”
Google has yet to respond to Bob’s demands.
Fernando Alfonso III served as an early Reddit and 4chan reporter and the Daily Dot’s first art director until 2016. He’s gone on to report at Lexington’s Herald-Leader and at the Houston Chronicle.