YouTube Pushes for Transparency in Comments

Ever wonder who those people are making rude, negative comments on YouTube behind the “security” of a username?

If the video-sharing site has its way, that will soon change.

In a report by Mashable, YouTube is urging its users to use their full names when commenting on, and uploading clips.  The alternative for the screen name associated with YouTube, would include a picture and full name from users Google+ account.  If the option is declined, a reason for doing so must be chosen on the site.

Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006.

In a blog addressing the forthcoming changes on YouTube, engineer John Fisher writes “This will give you more options for how your videos are seen and discovered on YouTube. However, we realize that using your full name isn’t for everyone. Maybe people know you by your YouTube username. Perhaps you don’t want your name publicly associated with your channel. To continue using your YouTube username, just click “I don’t want to use my full name” when you see the prompt.”

Social media has largely lived behind the ability of those who use it to remain anonymous. While some voluntarily reveal their names, many freely give their opinion, good or bad, behind the wall of a created username. It has provided an open forum to post negative comments with the safety of not receiving any repercussions.

Aside from a potential free speech firestorm, this begs the question whether YouTube’s efforts to force commenters to reveal themselves will open the door for more transparency between brands and consumers on social media.  Undoubtedly, how this decision plays out will be watched and may be the setting of a trend.  Or not.

Brands have used other social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook as a way to connect with consumers, gauge measurement and listen to their wants and needs. While YouTube has not been the first option organizations use to promote their brand, becoming more transparent, if it works, may open the door for YouTube to become a sought-after destination for organizations.

Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson 

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' PR Measurement Conference


Join us on April 20, 2015, for PR News’ essential PR Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in D.C., and learn how tie PR metrics to measurable business outcomes.

Use code “150off” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications


In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription


Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.