Flag it and don't move on: the YouTube comment wars
November 26, 2013 5:43 PM   Subscribe

Last month, an innocent video of Japanese celebricat Maru climbing a ladder was defaced with a dick pic in the comments (NSFW ASCII art). The Internet's favorite feline was the latest casualty in a hurricane of spam, links to viruses, ASCII art and other flying debris that has descended on the YouTube comments section ever since Google forced all commenters to adopt Google+ accounts.

Now Google has responded, altering their system to better detect spam and ASCII dicks. But they have refused to back down on the integration of YouTube with tumbleweed-strewn social networking site Google+, despite a 200,000+ strong petition and widespread Internet discontent.
posted by dontjumplarry (83 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Congratulations, Google. Everybody said it couldn't be done, yet you have somehow managed to make YouTube comments even worse.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:45 PM on November 26, 2013 [59 favorites]


I'm shocked an online petition didn't get YouTube to reverse itself.
posted by birdherder at 5:46 PM on November 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


No, Google, I do not want to use my real name on YouTube. Stop fucking asking me already!
posted by killdevil at 5:50 PM on November 26, 2013 [46 favorites]


The thing with internet outrage is that if you just hold on long enough, everyone will find another cat twitter on youtube to facebook pinterest.

Remember when FB removed the "so-and-so is" intro to FB posts ? People were gonna stomp off and make their own FB and there were petitions and pledge drives and .....

Here we are, the world unended.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:51 PM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


If YouTube commenting were abandoned en masse, I would call it the best of all possible resolutions. With a close second being the GOOD content providers finding somewhere else to put their content. But I'm being impractically optimistic, aren't I?
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:52 PM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's wrong with Vimeo?
posted by Jacob Knitig at 5:55 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


What I love about trying to contact Google for technical assistance with their products is that they put you in contact with other users who are also having problems, on some slim hope or probability that you'll both be able to solve each other's technical problems. It's like merging tech support with Chat Roulette.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:57 PM on November 26, 2013 [50 favorites]


It's like merging tech support with Chat Roulette.

Have you tried turning it me off and on again?
posted by arcticseal at 6:05 PM on November 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm still angry that it broke the herp derp filter, which was glorious.
posted by sonascope at 6:07 PM on November 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


Pretty sure soon enough you'll go to sign in to GMail and it'll just tell you create a Google+ or GTFO. Or else just present it as fait accompli:

------------------------------------------------
You now have a Google+ account.

[OK] [SUBMIT] [ENTER GOOGLE] [CANCEL RESISTING]
------------------------------------------------

People all-in-all seem to like their digital feudalism, though, and personally I'm pretty much only slightly in vassalage to Google and have the chops to fuck off and run my own mail server / calendar sync when it's time, so que sera sera I guess.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:11 PM on November 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Why I ended up glad I couldn't get in on GMail early:

Last year my wife asked me "What's that picture on your email, the Causeway?" This puzzled the fuck out of me.

Apparently what happened is that, back in the pre-Google day, I created a YouTube account and uploaded a couple of time-lapse videos I made of my commute across the World's Longest Bridge. This account had no connection to my real name but did use my contact email at Yahoo.

So when GMail saw my address Google went looking for a picture. I had never uploaded a picture to any Google account, or to Yahoo, but I had a couple of YouTube vids associated with that Yahoo account so it picked the sample still from one of them. Which is from a time-lapse of my drive across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

So if you have GMail and send me an email or get one from me, that is now my avatar.

This is totally unacceptable behavior and it just seems to get worse with each passing year. Truly they dropped "Don't" from their motto to celebrate the IPO.
posted by localroger at 6:15 PM on November 26, 2013 [51 favorites]


My personal favorite is in Microsoft: external (USB) hard drive not detected in Windows 7 with posts from 2009 to now, and not a resolution in sight. Mine worked fine under XP, though.
posted by hexatron at 6:16 PM on November 26, 2013


The suddenly-having-two-YouTube-accounts thing is super annoying, too. One for your real name/Google+ page, one for your screen name, and apparently I switched off of my screen name account accidentally and was adding videos to the Watch Later playlist to the wrong one for a few weeks.

Also, automatic posting of Hangouts videos to your YouTube account and Google+ page is the default, apparently? I found that one out when I was testing something with the Hangouts API and suddenly got a bunch of comments on my G+ page on a video of me just silently sitting there at my desk typing away for five minutes. Glad I didn't pick my nose or something.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:19 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


People all-in-all seem to like their digital feudalism...

They're forced into that by trying to get all their various digital thingies theoretically functioning together.

Next year will be 20 years on the web for me, and the crazily byzantine code nowadays just to display a paragraph of text (surrounded by a hundred widgets, icons, "related" links, adverts, and other folderol) in dark moments really makes me miss the WWW.

Get off my LAN.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:20 PM on November 26, 2013 [27 favorites]


Truly they dropped "Don't" from their motto to celebrate the IPO.

Well, that's a little hyperbolic, isn't it? Where is the evil in an automated script that finds information you willingly submitted to the internet and attaching it to your identity?
posted by maus at 6:23 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


But forcing everybody to use their real names on YouTube will bring personal accountability! It will cut down on spam and abusive comments! We must be imagining this.
posted by ardgedee at 6:26 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have to say that dick was much more well-rendered than I expected.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:34 PM on November 26, 2013 [28 favorites]


And now here's an idea for Metafilter: an april fool's message that all comments are grouped and require a Google+ Account or Facebook login.
posted by baconaut at 6:44 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


The thing I don't understand is why Youtube won't let people post links to the parts of a multiple-part video. Is it just as simple as this: if you have to search for them, you will see more ads?
posted by thelonius at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Screw the comments, I just want the damn videos to work. Last two days, I load a Youtube video and it just sits there without doing anything. That's even worse than the usual buffering every 20 seconds I get on my 20 megabit connection.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing I don't understand is why Youtube won't let people post links to the parts of a multiple-part video. Is it just as simple as this: if you have to search for them, you will see more ads?

This actually has an innocuous reason - the ten minute limit was originally introduced not for technical reasons, but as a compromise to stop people posting tv shows on youtube in the early days (before contentid, particularly). Even now, new accounts have the 15 minute limit for the same reason. As posting links to multiparts circumvents this, it's disallowed.
posted by jaymzjulian at 6:49 PM on November 26, 2013


ASCII Penis Detection software... those must have been fun project meetings...
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:55 PM on November 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


ASCII Penis Detection software... those must have been fun project meetings...

Actually, I'm kind of curious. Are they using image recognition? Some kind of crazy dick-recognizing regex?
posted by sparkletone at 6:57 PM on November 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


oneswellfoop: If YouTube commenting were abandoned en masse, I would call it the best of all possible resolutions.
"En masse" I can't help you with, but you can make YouTube comments disappear with feather mode. I'd guess you have to be logged in to YouTube to make that work right, though.
Now Google has responded, altering their system to better detect spam and ASCII dicks.
I am imagining the source-control commit comments:
  • Now detects 37 additional styles of ASCII dicks.
  • Now detects left-oriented as well as right-oriented ASCII dicks.
  • Added unicode support to dick detection.
posted by Western Infidels at 6:59 PM on November 26, 2013 [26 favorites]


If I tried to use my G+ to actually do anything, people would yell at me. Two months later when/if they finally noticed. Youtube constantly tries to trick me into using my real name AND deleting my screen name, and it's getting old. My real name? On YOUTUBE comments? May as well ask me to get really involved with Y!Answers using my social security number.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:01 PM on November 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


The whole real name thing is just fist itchingly pompous. Who is so utterly boring and self important that they have exactly one identity? I don't like to say "fuck" as much as usual in front of my grandma, my god I must be a terrorist or something.
posted by lucidium at 7:07 PM on November 26, 2013 [32 favorites]


Actually, I'm kind of curious. Are they using image recognition? Some kind of crazy dick-recognizing regex?

Oh God, now I want to see some kind of ASCII spin on the Critique My Dick Pic Tumblr:

"Come on, there's a whole variety of ASCII characters you can work with to more accurately render the shape of a dick. You get a C-.

"Nicely rendered; you even got the frenulum. You get an A."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Where is the evil in an automated script that finds information you willingly submitted to the internet and attaching it to your identity?

If I wanted it attached to my identity I'd have attached it to my identity myself. Google wants stuff attached to my idenitty so they can market to me, which I understand but they were thunderously clueless about the fact that people have legitimate reasons for wanting multiple disconnected identities, because maybe you don't want your parents and family connected to your BDSM community.

Also, as an identity localroger is actually much better for me than Roger Williams -- try googling each of those and get back to me as to which is actually a better identifier. But they were thunderously clueless about that, too.

I don't mind the idea that I will get served ads in exchange for a free web service. I mind very much when functionality I've been led to believe I can depend on is fundamentally changed so as to be useless or just eliminated on some marketing whim. Google has been doing crap like that a lot lately.
posted by localroger at 7:08 PM on November 26, 2013 [24 favorites]


jaymzjulian: This actually has an innocuous reason - the ten minute limit was originally introduced not for technical reasons, but as a compromise to stop people posting tv shows on youtube in the early days (before contentid, particularly).
I believe I understand the logic of this idea. But I have a cold. I spent all day yesterday watching hour-long documentaries on YouTube, and they weren't even broken up into parts. As far as I could tell, they were complete made-for-television shows uploaded by ordinary users - they hadn't been posted by their creators or owners.

In many respects, YouTube seems like a miniature version of the Internet's Wild West days.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


> people have legitimate reasons for wanting multiple disconnected identities

I will never be able to unsee what I saw when I idly clicked the “Connected profiles” on Google Contacts for a professional I work with …
posted by scruss at 7:17 PM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't have much expectation of freedom from NSA snooping (plenty of rage, mind you, just no surprise about it) but is there an online mail service less annoying that Gmail/Google has gotten? I have some video projects in the future that I will probably take straight to Vimeo (which is not perfect either), screw YouTube and their stupid "are you SURE you want to keep this psuedonym?????" bullshit, so that's easy enough.

I just need an email with lots of storage and a good spam filter and that doesn't constantly try to link up every single thing I do online for no goddamn reason. Is there a good one?

It would feel so good to just empty out my gmail box and my youtube account. (Google+ never had much in it).
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2013


Jacob Knitig: "What's wrong with Vimeo?"

Never wants to work for me, especially on embedded videos.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:42 PM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ok, internet geniuses, how would you have made YouTube comments less of a cesspool? Removing anonymity doesn't seem, like, totally out of left field as a strategy for reducing the anonymous jerkwad factor.

I mean yes I get that it's annoying that it also happens to be another opportunity to funnel anyone, anyhow, into their Facebook competitor and yes that has begun to stink of desperation but geez after all don't we need someone to keep Facebook from just sucking all the air out of the room
posted by ook at 7:44 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I often just leave YT without viewing the video I came there for because I get caught in their trick question trap, and for the life of me I can’t figure out the right answer except “close the window”.
posted by bongo_x at 7:46 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


One way to avoid idiot comments on Youtube was, and still is, avoid watching idiot videos. I find myself listening to a lot of jazz and Brazilian music, and the horror comments just aren't there. Sometimes they're even valuable, for instance when they identify the players or the recording date.

I agree it's infinitely more frustrating now, especially since my wife and I got a pad and can't figure out how to change identities without jumping through a bunch of hoops.
posted by Fnarf at 7:50 PM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Didn't any Googlers read Slashdot back in the day with the "lameness filter"? Didn't seem to stop the ASCII dicks and ASCII Goatse then, doubt it will stop them now.
posted by indubitable at 8:08 PM on November 26, 2013


"because maybe you don't want your parents and family connected to your BDSM community."

lemme tell you about the time my google contacts suggested my dad's porn tumblr
posted by klangklangston at 8:21 PM on November 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


One way to avoid idiot comments on Youtube was, and still is, avoid watching idiot videos.

Don't be so sure that works - I was idly surfing today and looked up a video from the time that Yankee Stadium played "Sweet Caroline" shortly after the Boston marathon incident, and saw that some yobbo had left five comments in a row ranting about how what happened in Boston was as nothing compared to other tragedies in the world and how dare people compare the two and gee he thought the victims of other tragedies must feel slighted in response, and....yeah. On a nearly year-old video of people in a sports stadium listening to Neil Diamond.

I dunno.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. Google has committed to G+. FB is a major advertising platform competitor, and deep social search is where all the growth in advertising dollars comes from. Google, like all companies (and frankly, most things) has to be where the growth is at. The future is G+. It has all the cold, impersonal logic of a basket of puppies going into an industrial shredder. The grinding teeth are advertising dollars, the puppy tears are made of our hopes and dreams and other demographic information and the maniacal laughter is entropy.

2. Behind the scenes there are probably a dozen different authentication systems all tied together from different acquired properties and different products developed internally and judging by the incredible quantity of single sign on projects the earth has been plagued with we can provably demonstrate it's one of the more difficult problems in computer science. Mushing all of this together has stripped decades, maybe centuries of life off some group of poor assholes.

3. The day my default emotional reaction to software updates became fear and anxiety rather than cautious optimism was a watershed moment in the pmv household. It happened some time this year. The moon shines a little dimmer, the sun's warmth has lost some of its embrace. I feel like I'm too young to be getting old and cranky?

4. There is a deep irony that the class of people most capable of dictating the terms on which our future social interactions occur are notoriously anti-social misanthropes. Imagine you had a friend whose personality was a personification of your newsfeed. Not too long ago I went through a breakup; if Facebook were a friend of mine I would have punched it right in the teeth or at the very least stopped hanging out with that douchebag. Gone are the days when you could not be passively bombarded by major nodes in your social graph.

5. There is something utterly delightful and human about massive throngs of people reacting to nominally annoying change (who the hell comments on youtube anyways?) by dedicating huge expanses of their time airing their butthurt by converting the whole thing into an incredible exercise in irony.
posted by pmv at 8:29 PM on November 26, 2013 [25 favorites]


>Ok, internet geniuses, how would you have made YouTube comments less of a cesspool?

1. Recognize that unsupervised moderation is an unsolved problem and don't show them by default.
2. Don't show them by default unless the user has x amount of karma.
3. Hellban people who get flagged, or receive too many downvotes over some distribution of comments.
4. Rate limit people who post constantly, or with certain karma thresholds.
5. When you notice profanity or ethnic slurs, force them to watch videos of crying puppies or with sensitivity training before they can finish it.
6. Have their comments read aloud back to them. (yes, xkcd)

Just think of all of the electricity being devoted to figuring out if your comment has an ASCII penis in it, instead of any of the above.
posted by pmv at 8:44 PM on November 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


3. Hellban people who get flagged, or receive too many downvotes over some distribution of comments.

So i could do this to you by downvoting you with all of my "unique" identities?

As someone who has been banned on sites for ridiculously trivial reasons i think its a bad idea, of course
posted by Colonel Panic at 8:49 PM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Colonel Panic: I think distinguishing bona-fide downvoters from sockpuppets is probably a solvable problem. You can look at IP addresses, timing, which accounts are suspiciously correlated with each other, whether those accounts are actually used to watch videos or just to go on voting sprees, and so on.

It'll probably end up being difficult, but if anyone has the machine learning expertise and the computational horsepower to do it, Google does.
posted by teraflop at 8:57 PM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


is there an online mail service less annoying that Gmail/Google has gotten? ... I just need an email with lots of storage and a good spam filter and that doesn't constantly try to link up every single thing I do online for no goddamn reason. Is there a good one?

For under a dollar a week, yes there is.
posted by flabdablet at 9:00 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Google has committed to G+.

In the first degree.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:05 PM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Remember when FB removed the "so-and-so is" intro to FB posts ? People were gonna stomp off and make their own FB and there were petitions and pledge drives and .....

Here we are, the world unended.


Remember when MySpace did the same thing? Or honestly, that something called MySpace used to exist?

People don't all move on at once, but they do move on in large numbers over time.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:38 PM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and that is a damn fine ASCII penis. Very impressive.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:40 PM on November 26, 2013


Some kind of crazy dick-recognizing regex?
m/8=+D/
posted by brennen at 9:42 PM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


On the one hand, ever since they shitcanned Reader, I'm all for bashing Google and their G+ promoting ways.

On the other hand, who the hell are these people that get upset over policy changes in YouTube comments? Who is this person that thinks "Oh, no, YouTube comments was such a safe space for sharing, suchwonderful open forum for discussion, a true central exchange in the marketplace of ideas. And now it's all ruined!"
posted by gkhan at 10:21 PM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ok, internet geniuses, how would you have made YouTube comments less of a cesspool?

To create and use a google account you are issued a free keyboard or security dongle. In this device there is a claymore mine containing 1000 tungsten bearings and a pound of high explosives. The device is helpfully labelled "Don't be a dick!" in colorful, friendly letters.

When internet fuckwad behavior is detected the security dongle or keyboard detonates, removing the source of the offending material.

This new service shall be called Google-.
posted by loquacious at 10:25 PM on November 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


I like G+, I use it a lot, but the YouTube integration has been absolutely awful. I actually wrestled for an hour or so this morning trying to link a client's YouTube account with their G+ page, using the same email address that had been used to set up both accounts. I tore out my hair and asked a coworker for help. His simple solution:

Log into YouTube with the email you sent, choose "use as [YouTube channel name], then click "YouTube settings" in the account dropdown.

It shows it's connected to a page and you can "temporarily disconnect" it. When you do that, it takes about a half our to reset, then you can go back to that same setting where it now asks you to connect it to a G+ profile or page. Click that link, and choose the page or profile you want to connect to.


A fucking nightmare.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:58 PM on November 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


On the other hand, who the hell are these people that get upset over policy changes in YouTube comments?

I don't think I've ever made a YouTube comment, but I find it incredibly annoying to be asked repeatedly whether I'm REALLY REALLY sure I don't want to use my real name on YouTube.

The funny thing is, my YouTube username isn't that far off from my real name. It doesn't matter to me whether people know who I am. I just find the G+ integration so annoying and forceful (and the philosophy behind single identities so repellent) that I'm resisting on principle alone. Every time they ask me "Do you want to use your real name or keep your username," I choose to keep my username, and Google responds with "OK, we'll ask you again later."

I'm not going to change my fucking mind, Google. STOP ASKING.
posted by mokin at 11:21 PM on November 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


One thing I don't like about YouTube comments is that often the top-rated comments will be zingers posted in reply to other comments and only make sense if you can read both of them, which you often can't. Ideally they would display the original comment along with the top-rated reply in the top comments section, but having a link you can click to bring up the original comment was workable if clunky. Now it seems to be totally broken - you click the link to see the comment that was being replied to and it just reopens the video in anther tab.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 11:26 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finally, this explains that baby gif that's been popping up on my Tumblr dash for a few days.
posted by NoraReed at 11:38 PM on November 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like trains, specifically Japanese trains, and have connected with a lot of Japanese rail fans on YouTube by leaving comments. It's very civilized, and many of these folks are now active on G+.

But I would never leave a comment on a Maru video - too risky.

In fact, one dumb thing Google did was retroactively link any posts you made of a YouTube video to the original YouTube video.

For example, I posted a TV On the Radio video to G+. I included a short description to the post: "these guys are America's answer to Radiohead."

Now, more than a year later I got a comment on the G+ post: "no they are not u r a retard."

I was pissed. Who was this person? He wasn't in my G+ contacts. How had he found a post that was a year old? And why would he commnent on my G+ post?

I looked at the original video and sure enough my description for Mt post showed up as a comment, and the offending comment was there, too.

Google had retroactively posted all of my G+ YouTube post descriptions to the original videos. There wasn't even an option to opt out, or a warning.

Anyway I blocked the miscreant. It was the only thing I could do.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:49 PM on November 26, 2013 [22 favorites]


So that's the witty "how could this possibly make the youtube comments situation worse?" question pretty well answered, KokoRyu. Personally I've never commented on a video on youtube, but I have linked and commented on a few on G+. However, after the one-two punch of their endless gratuitous trap-door changes to the G+ UI ... each one of which took away something I liked until there wasn't anything left to like about it anymore, and the Snowden revelations, I deleted my G+ account. (I also adblock most google services that I can get away with without actually breaking the web and don't allow them to set cookies, for whatever that's worth.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:04 AM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


pmv: "1. Recognize that unsupervised moderation is an unsolved problem and don't show them by default."

I bought a Wii U over the weekend. It features some rather interesting stuff -- in particular a Nintendo-only social network complete with screenshots and chat forums. Not only did Nintendo allow freeform text with other players, they've also included the ability to draw pictures. For reasons I do not yet fully understand, it has not devolved into freeform dick contests, and is actually generally relevant and on topic.

I have not yet tried any online multiplayer, so this could change, but for the moment I'm forced to conclude someone at Nintendo was made to write a dickpic image classifier.
posted by pwnguin at 12:35 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone who has been banned on sites for ridiculously trivial reasons i think its a bad idea, of course

You can never nuke all the bad comments without nuking some good ones. Or you can preserve all the good comments by allowing some bad ones to slip through.

The question becomes is it more important to get rid of most of the bad comments or more important to preserve most of the good ones. I would say that nobody's YouTube comment is really essential and there's no moral duty to make YouTube comments a free speech zone. But bad comments really drag the place down. So I'd argue for erring on the side of nuking good comments and banning people unjustly to clear out the cesspool.
posted by straight at 12:48 AM on November 27, 2013


the one-two punch of their endless gratuitous trap-door changes to the G+ UI

Oh tell me about it. I was so pissed when I discovered that they "auto-enhanced" my very carefully processed pictures, including my frigging backups on picasaweb I've had for years. Oh yes, you can un-autoenhance them, bulk un-autoenhance them, even. EXCEPT FOR ANY PICTURES YOU'VE UPLOADED SINCE THEY BOUGHT IN AUTO-AUTO ENHANCE.

As I predominantly was using it as backup it was several months, and several hundred pictures before I noticed. In the end I had to delete a shitload, and reupload them.

A similar "We know what's good for you" bullshit is at play with the new gmail compose window and general layout, the disappearance of the side menus in Google search etc etc. All because some cretins need to justify their salaries and job roles by changing shit constantly or they wouldn't have anything to do.

I've resigned myself to pointless, arbitrary changes foisted on me. What really gives me the shits, though, is how quickly Google et al have abandoned power users, who actually know what they want, and would like some preferences to ensure they can get it.

The same mentality is at play in Microsoft, though not so much Facebook, weirdly. FB seems content to bury your user options in ever deeper and more byzantine menus, but they mostly remain.
posted by smoke at 1:08 AM on November 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


Every year new folks graduate from college and need jobs. Meanwhile, folks retired. So the new kids need work to do. Sadly, it would seem the UI is considered a "safe" place to let them learn the tricks of the trade.

I got hit by this comment nonsense on Youtube. I do not have and do not want, G+. I have a Youtube nick of which I am very fond. I even create content. But Youtube is the slums. It's where I post stuff that is interesting but inferior quality. Except I already have alternatives, and may just use them more. I'm sure they'll happily serve up my RDA of kitten videos.
posted by Goofyy at 2:15 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


All because some cretins need to justify their salaries and job roles by changing shit constantly or they wouldn't have anything to do.

I've been reliably assured that doesn't happen.
posted by flabdablet at 2:25 AM on November 27, 2013


What really gives me the shits, though, is how quickly Google et al have abandoned power users, who actually know what they want, and would like some preferences to ensure they can get it.

That's an industry-wide trend. I see it everywhere and it gives me the shits as well.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not a high priest type and I'm glad that more people have more access to useful stuff because it's easier. But seeing the marketroids enforce design-by-focus-group (or, worse, design-by-complete-wanker) as they appear to be doing more and more often is just plain irritating, especially when it makes my job (IT technician) that much harder.
posted by flabdablet at 2:45 AM on November 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


4. There is a deep irony that the class of people most capable of dictating the terms on which our future social interactions occur are notoriously anti-social misanthropes.

This.

It seems that, over the course of the last few of years, Google has reached that point that most tech companies reach...Where their product is at this point of "perfection." Everything is in balance...utility, usability, performance...it's all there and it works beautifully.

But, then, the geeks can't leave it alone. The dev teams devolve into bell-and-whistle fetishists, piling-on their current pet tech and giving-in to their base, more-is-better, instincts. The result always seems to be an impenetrable, we-know-better-than-you, attitude toward the filthy end users, and a product that no longer pleases anyone, other than the teams that created it.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:01 AM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


> I'm forced to conclude someone at Nintendo was made to write a dickpic image classifier.

They were!
posted by lucidium at 5:14 AM on November 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm struggling to imagine anything being better with G+ shoved into it.
posted by tommasz at 6:02 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


These Korean people sure aren't getting with the American program. Don't they know the internet is a serious, civilized place?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:48 AM on November 27, 2013


Google had retroactively posted all of my G+ YouTube post descriptions to the original videos. There wasn't even an option to opt out, or a warning.


So does that mean that anything we post to G + (ahhahaaahhah ahha ahahhhaa sniff, okay, hypothetically speaking at least) is now publicly available by default?
posted by Think_Long at 8:39 AM on November 27, 2013


So does that mean that anything we post to G + (ahhahaaahhah ahha ahahhhaa sniff, okay, hypothetically speaking at least) is now publicly available by default?

No, there's still great privacy controls. What I mentioned above was a retroactive change to previous posts.

Google Plus is pretty popular all over the world (notably in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe) as a photo-sharing platform. The entire Hangouts thing is also its own phenomenon.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:56 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh lucidium, that link is fantastic.

we were caught off-guard by the amount of penises drawn by people.

Kato: Kurisu-san suggested we study different types of penises in order to create figure out the relative shape and size people would draw. We spent a week doing that before we realized that we should have been looking at drawings of penises rather than real-life pictures. (laughs) We were very embarrassed about that.
posted by straight at 12:06 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


We spent a week doing that before we realized that we should have been looking at drawings of penises rather than real-life pictures. (laughs) We were very embarrassed about that.

We’ve all been there.
posted by bongo_x at 12:16 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, internet geniuses, how would you have made YouTube comments less of a cesspool? Removing anonymity doesn't seem, like, totally out of left field as a strategy for reducing the anonymous jerkwad factor.

Isn't it obvious? Micropayments. If you want to leave a comment, it costs you $0.25 or equivalent. The only comments will be from people who *really* have something to say, positive or negative...and the money from the comments go to the video posters, just like the ad revenue. After all, people post comments because they want to, so why not charge them for the privilege?

I'm not actually sure it will cut down on the awful comments, but at least it'll be "hey, I am going to be a jerkwad, but here's a quarter for having to read my comment vomit." Meanwhile, people who were planning to leave a positive comment anyway probably won't be stopped by the idea of also tossing a quarter the author's way.
posted by davejay at 1:27 PM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


actually, it should be $0.20, SAIT
posted by davejay at 1:28 PM on November 27, 2013


> The only comments will be from people who *really* have something to say

or advertisers. Every comment would be sponsored!
posted by scruss at 1:31 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I use Google docs for working with clients and Youtube for, well, Youtube. I may have to delete my videos before Google decides it's a good idea to forward them along to some of my more conservative clients.

I'm kind of unclear on what demographic was clamouring for these to be combined. Maybe next my OkCupid profile should appear on LinkedIn.
posted by RobotHero at 2:26 PM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Screw the comments, I just want the damn videos to work. Last two days, I load a Youtube video and it just sits there without doing anything. That's even worse than the usual buffering every 20 seconds I get on my 20 megabit connection.

The problem might be with your ISP.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2013


I'm kind of unclear on what demographic was clamouring for these to be combined.

That would be th demographic of Google executives who want a piece of Facebook's action. And absolutely nobody else.
posted by localroger at 4:51 PM on November 27, 2013


So I'd argue for erring on the side of nuking good comments and banning people unjustly to clear out the cesspool.

Under your system Anita Sarkeedian gets hellabanned for her first video, and never gets to do her second one. In fact, any female, lgbtq, non-white poster gets hellabanned. Dissidents are easily prevented from posting.

Nice job there, Tex.
posted by happyroach at 5:38 PM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm just talking about comments, happyroach, not videos. I have no problem with Sarkeedian getting one of her comments deleted from somebody else's video. I'm perfectly happy with zero tolerance for misogynistic comments on Sarkeedian's videos, even if it means some harmless comments get nuked as well.
posted by straight at 8:49 PM on November 27, 2013


An update to Google+'s Android app somehow turned on the auto syncing of my mobile's photos with G+. I realized this late at night; couldn't figure out the settings that enabled it, so I ended up deleting the app itself. The end of Google+ for me, as far as I was concerned, I thought. Now there's this.

And oh yeah, another one. Somehow, Google Now has now started reading my inbox (I think), parsed my emailed plane tickets, and converted them to those card thingies and notified me there. How did Google Now get all that information? I have no idea. I'm sooooo waiting for my contract to end so I can get rid of this Android phone; absolutely not cool to have this level of integration and whatnot.
posted by the cydonian at 4:35 AM on November 28, 2013


I'm sooooo waiting for my contract to end so I can get rid of this Android phone; absolutely not cool to have this level of integration and whatnot.

I feel you may be disappointed when you learn the plans of Apple and MS.
posted by jaduncan at 5:30 AM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


An update to Google+'s Android app somehow turned on the auto syncing of my mobile's photos with G+.

Reading this shot a cold stabbing lance of panic into my lower abdomen at the thought that the photos on my Nook HD (aka the perfect porn machine) might somehow alert the world to my blue collar fixations and love of 1930s amateur gay WPA work camp porn.

Fortunately, nothing showed, but my hair is still standing on end.
posted by sonascope at 5:39 PM on November 28, 2013


my blue collar fixations and love of 1930s amateur gay WPA work camp porn

My God, and I though I was a pervert.
posted by localroger at 6:32 PM on November 28, 2013


Google kind of fascinates me. Google starts by doing one thing (Search) and doing it really, really well. Then they expand and do more things, and do most of them really well. Does anyone remember the state of webmail, or heck, email before gmail? 1 MB attachment limits, 15 MB total storage size. A single email with a giant bitmap from my Grandma would overload my ISP email. They are the kings of making really sweet things.

They make more and more of these things. They then start linking them together in cool ways; my email links to my calendar and my address book in useful ways, ways Microsoft always tried to do but never got to work. This is useful.

Then they start being dicks. Not all the time. Not in really evil ways (mostly), but some of the time. But how do you leave? It isn't a false monopoly; almost all the time their stuff IS better. They roll in, and everyone else might as well leave. Skype is the king of video chat for years. Hangouts arrive and is in almost every way better; It installs more easily then Skype (if you already have Chrome). It suffers less distortion and dropped calls. The picture quality is higher. Group video calls are free. It has useful plugins that let me have people put names under their pictures, and Roll20 for easy map drawing for my online game (One of my main uses of it.) And it ties into YouTube (If you want to do a video cast or upload an archive of your D&D sessions), and Google+ (I know most people hate it, but it has a pretty solid RPG community on it, and is great for organizing games) which means I can have a Google+ group for my RPG group, post up game information and such, set up a session. People can then click that session add it to the calendars and so on.

It is so sweet, but I KNOW they are collecting a truly scary amount of information on me, and that they are kind of dicks about a lot of things. So what do you do about a company that gets away with being a dick, not by evil like Microsoft back in the day, but by being BETTER then everyone?
posted by Canageek at 8:12 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


what do you do about a company that gets away with being a dick, not by evil like Microsoft back in the day, but by being BETTER then everyone?

You do your own personal cost/benefit analysis of what they're offering you before you decide to use it, and you do your best not to forget that having a bunch of information collected about you and having your information manipulated for you in unpredictable ways are both costs.

From my own point of view, the $100 I've just paid Fastmail for three years of their no-strings-attached email service is lower than the cost of continuing to rely on Gmail.
posted by flabdablet at 9:30 PM on November 29, 2013


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