It is evident that YouTube is the place to go online for every kind of video content imaginable. It is also a great place for business’s to showcase their marketing videos and create customized channels that represent who they are and what kind of customer they are drawing. While YouTube is known for it’s massive inventory, it has also been recognized as having the worst and most hateful commenters on the internet. Filled with grammatically incorrect, expletive-packed comments, YouTube beats out all other blogs, forums, and boards where anonymous users spout their opinions and browbeat others. Why do people bother unleashing such vitriol on complete strangers who for one reason or another, have the guts, seemingly lack of shame, or attention seeking compulsivity to post videos they make? The answer lies in the anonymity of the internet world.
Since the dawn of the internet, users have been able to establish online personas with usernames while never revealing who they really are. This air of mystery has made the internet a haven for people with similar interests to commiserate to varying degrees of nicety, more so in the last few years with the arrival of smart phones equipped with cameras able to take and upload photos and videos in seconds. Wired.com recently wrote about some statements made by YouTube’s owner Google at their developer’s panel about finding a way to curb negative commenters while still maintaining a community. Specifics were not addressed but a Google spokesman vaguely mentioned that, “we’re working to improve comments as much as we’re working to improve all parts of the site and YouTube experience”. One way to vastly improve the site would be requiring all commenters to link to their Google + accounts, like all other Google sites do, thereby expunging anonymity and forcing users to go by their real names which in turn would cut down greatly on negative comments. An extensive overhaul of the comment system such as this is necessary if YouTube does indeed want to attract smarter videos with higher production values that appeal to advertisers.
Negative commenters aka trolls lurk in every corner of the internet, but the worst of the worst seem to gravitate to YouTube where they can inflict the maximum amount pain on every type of video and its creator. If something isn’t done to quell this blight, it may deter the next great viral video from being posted for all to see.