After last week’s introduction of its face blurring tool on YouTube, Google has pulled off a pretty surprising move today. According to reports online, when users comment on YouTube now, they’ll be asked to start using their full name on YouTube. The service will checked for a linked Google+ account and encourage users to use it. However if they decline, they’ll be asked to give a reason to Google i.e. “My channel name is well-known”.
Google had mentioned in the past that it was planning some changes to its commenting system and this might be it. With people’s real names and Google+ accounts exposed, I guess they would be less likely to troll the video comments on YouTube. However, it seems like a pretty simple security measure to bypass – users can just create new YouTube accounts not associated with any Google+ profile, or create a fake Google+ profile. I guess taking the first step is better than nothing, let’s see what else Google/YouTube has in store for us next time.
Updated (7/25): Google contacted us to point out that they had previously mentioned that it would be letting its YouTube users link their Google+ profiles with their YouTube accounts - edited the second paragraph to reflect that. Also, the main reason for the linking of profiles is to “make YouTube a more familiar place” for its users – not to prevent anonymous trolling.