Google admits that Youtube/Google Plus integration increased ASCII porn, spam and trolling


#1

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#2

Honest question: What is it about Google Plus that decreases the quality of the conversation? I understand that other changes were made regarding how messages are sorted, but those changes could have been made without integrating with Google Plus. I think I'm missing the piece of the puzzle that tells me how a Google Plus profile vs. a YouTube/Google profile makes a difference.


#3

For some dumb reason Google decided to remove certain filters when they went to Google+. YouTube prevented linking and had length restrictions. Those are gone. This opened the floodgates of porn ASCII art, links to porn sites, spammers commenting, screamer video links, etc. Google thought that they had a way to identify topical comments, but we have complete algorithm fail, so the dumbest, 4chaniest, awfulest material is being judged as relevant to many videos and promoted by their bad algorithm.


#4

According to Ars, Team Mountain View made two major mistakes:

  1. They relaxed certain technical restrictions (comment length, URLs, maybe some other munging that used to happen), based on the (flawed) assumption that people who post ASCII penises and Goatse links would be deterred by Real Names. They weren't, and now the system doesn't stop them.

  2. Because Social, the new Google+ified scheme gives automatic extra visibility to “engaged conversations”. Apparently on the theory that they can identify those accurately, and that they would be about the video, possibly even thoughtful or insightful, rather than being the usual horrible people screaming at each other, now automatically upranked and given additional visibility...


#5

For #2, the relevant lesson is: A reply is not an upvote.


#6

I'm not entirely surprised that Google's Google+ squad wouldn't be familiar with the concept of 'disagreement'...

I am surprised that Google (who has only been dealing with SEO scum for how long now?) wouldn't have caught such a trivial rank-gaming vulnerability before it even left the 'some scrawls on a whiteboard' stage of design.


#7

It isn't just YouTube and Google+. Google has been on a rampage to snuff out any user communities that are unique to any one product. On Google Map Maker, they stopped supporting their user community entirely, which, for a time, was lively, interesting, engaging, and somewhat not-secrective. Now the forums are refereed by TCs (top contributors--volunteers who serve as emissaries and de facto employees)--Google no longer engages with the common rabble, even though the volunteer mappers are the lifeblood of that product. It's just part of the broader trend at Google to offer up pretend communication at the expense of user engagement--they've really taken the whole "You're not the customer, you're the product" ethos to heart.


#8

I don't think it would've been nearly as awful, if the whiny youtubers hadn't made whiny youtube videos whining about the G+ integration... that was just begging for ASCII shlongs.


#9

Indeed. What conversation isn't improved by ASCII schlongs?


#10

Google is shooting itself in the foot. Many people are already looking for alternatives because of their bad privacy, and this only makes it worse. Many of us were tricked by facebook, and we don't want to make the same mistake with google+. It's nice to see that a lot of people are moving over to privacy-based alternatives such as Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, etc.


#11

Wait, huh? Google's bad privacy? Compared to what?


#12

But but but real names - surely assholes suddenly discover a social conscience and behave like polite considerate people when their real names are tied to their activities!

(Bonus idiocy: But, surely our clever algorithms written by mostly anglophone programmers, and legions of low-paid mostly anglophone employees can correctly identify the use of false names by someone at the far end of an IP address, however sketchily defined the notion of "false name" is).


#13

Standing naked in the middle of the market square.


#14

My splendid daughter has just said, on reading this, 'But the internet will clearly break if there's not people either being dicks or showing dicks on it'.


#15

I thought maybe you had actual real concerns you might like to share, rather than just unsupported accusations. Perhaps I phrased my post badly.


#16

Oh my god, ASCII porn may be the best thing I've ever heard of.


#17

It's also much older than you might think:

(BTW: The entire BBS documentary is definitely worth watching.)


#18

Serious obstinacy out of Larry Page, and they have damaged their own brand as a result. The first year of Plus was a year of unusual Google relations with their own staff. Most of Google is pretty transparent internally -- Google dev staff have access to a lot of Google internal data. Because trust, right? But of course, no access to early Plus usage data, because it would be embarrassing after the massive corporate rah-rah push to support and promote it in every corner of the company.


#19

Odd, I spend probably a couple of hours a day on YouTube, and this article right here is the first time I've seen any ASCII porn. Maybe I'm just not hanging around the wrong parts of YouTube.

The only real problem that I had with the change was all the people whining about the change. Apart from that it was a net plus for me - I actually SAW that I had responses on my videos and got much better interaction with people than I ever did before.


#20

I am still confused about this YouTube real name "requirement". Google asked me to merge my real name Google+ account with my YouTube username. I said no, so my YouTube account does not show my real name at all (and Google created a Google+ page for my username that specifically does not require a person's real name, unlike a Google+ profile).

So how many people are actually using "real names"?

I find it kind of funny that in a complaint about Google+'s real name policy, the example picture is of someone named KtmDesignz.