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News Link • Media: Internet

YouTube Fights Horrible Commenters by Naming Names

•, By Ryan Tate
 When you comment on, or upload a video, YouTube will now urge you to “start using your full name on YouTube,” and ask if the video-sharing site can begin displaying the identity you’ve associated with your Google+ account (assuming you use Google’s social network). If you decline, Google makes you select a valid reason, like “My channel name is well-known,” as BetaBeat noticed this morning. (Google didn’t mention that wrinkle when it announced it would be rolling out this option.)

YouTube’s move toward real names was foreshadowed last month, when a YouTube product lead told developers at the Google I/O conference that the video service was planning some unspecified changes to its commenting system, widely regarded as a Hellmouth of crude abuse. As we noted at the time, making commenters use their real names and Google+ accounts was the obvious first step toward bringing civility to YouTube, which Google is eager to polish into a venue more attractive to business owners, advertisers, and creative filmmakers.

A YouTube spokesperson declined to comment today on whether more changes are in store, but it’s easy to imagine that offering Google+ YouTube accounts is just a first step toward hiding, and eventually eliminating, comments from anonymous accounts. Such simple steps would do more to improve the perceived quality of YouTube content than any upgrade to surround sound or high-definition video.

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