YouTube has instituted a new comments policy. The problem? It's optional.
The comments section of the average newspaper or magazine website: A noisy, lawless place. The comments section under the average YouTube video: completely terrifying, totally ungrammatical, full of errant exclamation marks. Last month, in an effort to bring some order to its comments section, YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced it would encourage users to log-in with their real name and photograph.
"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," YouTube engineer John Fisher wrote at the time. "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."
The changes go into effect this week. So how are they holding up?
Well, first of all, it's important to note that the new policy is far from mandatory. In other words, compared to Facebook, which bans pseudonyms, you don't need to reveal your real name on YouTube. It's just, you know, suggested.