Google overhauled its dreaded YouTube commenting system and layout Thursday, forcing all YouTube users to login through Google+ before leaving a message on a video.
YouTube comments will no longer show up chronologically or automatically. Content creators can now moderate comments before they are published, and once they are, messages are ordered by relevance.
The move has angered netizens who value their anonymity, since Google+ requires people to use their real names.
“I f**king hate that today you have to sign up for everything,” wrote one 4chan user. “On Youtube I could use a funny anonymous name and post comments on vids I don’t want Facebook or whatever to know about.”
Stop trying to make Google+ happen. It’s not going to happen. pic.twitter.com/O03IR0Y2yt
— Digital Spy (@digitalspy) November 7, 2013
— BitBurner (@minecrap) November 7, 2013
Google+ launched in December 2012, and has since been disparaged as a social media “wasteland.” The running online joke is that no one actually uses the network—Google just creates a new account each time someone signs up for one of its other, more popular, services, like Gmail. On Oct. 29, Google claimed that Google+ had 300 million active users.
Among those irked by the new commenting system is author and YouTube celebrity John Green. He announced today that his startup Subbable, a “pay what you want’ video platform that connects content creators to their communities, would install “normal, functional comments.”
If Green—whose Vlogbrothers channel with his brother Hank has around 1.6 million subscibers—wasn’t enough to convince Google to reassess its new feature, a Change.org petition asking the company to roll the changes back has collected 11,600 digital signatures and counting.
But perhaps no one said what many YouTubers seem to be thinking more clearly than AlphaOmegaSin, whose video “Google For F*cks Sake Quit Making Youtube Suck” went viral Thursday.
It’s an epic, profane, 10-minute rant, but his thesis is in the first few seconds: “Stop. Changing. YouTube. Actually, maybe I can be more accurate: Stop. Forcing. Google+.”
Illustration by Jason Reed