Free speech online gets less free … but who can blame them?

The abuse — in every sense — of anonymity online has driven another major website to ban anonymous “comments”.  YouTube has given in, and who can blame them?  H/t the Daily Mail:

YouTube puts an end to vicious, anonymous comments which have turned site into ‘Wild West’

YouTube is set to overhaul its comments system to curb the droves of online trolls writing nasty and anonymous messages.

Speaking at Google I/O, an annual developer’s conference held by YouTube’s owner, head of product Dror Shimshowitz leaked the news that the website is developing a new method to halt the abuse.

Mr Shimshowitz and Google declined to elaborate on the plans but many speculate it could be the end of anonymous rants and raves posted at the bottom of YouTube channels. …

YouTube’s comment section is notoriously nasty. Buzzfeed called its commentors the ‘worst on the internet,’ likening them to ‘the dregs, the scum, the poison.’

The comments are so bad, they have inspired a parody blog entitled ‘Stupid YouTube Comments‘ that collates the worst of the website.

Wired postulates that YouTube may ask users to include more information about themselves before posting a comment, getting rid of the anonymous anarchy of the comment chorus.

‘Many members use anonymous handles since YouTube, unlike other Google sites, allows people to create distinct accounts,’ Wired’s Ryan Tate writes.

‘As a general rule, people are far less likely to troll under their real name.’

 It’s a sad day, but the fact is that everyone is using the web these days, and that includes the criminal classes.  The latter may be defined as those who will do whatever they feel that they can get away with.  These scum don’t contribute anything; they merely harass those who do.

Which means that anonymity on the web is doomed.  And that is not a happy state of affairs.


2 thoughts on “Free speech online gets less free … but who can blame them?

  1. Korea tried the real name alternative and after a few months found out that it didn’t work so they went back to annonymous identities.

    Basically all that needs to be done is for these websites to hire moderators, post enforceable rules and mopderate their comment sections.

    But it is easier and cheaper to remove people’s privacy than use common sense.

  2. Interesting … I wasn’t aware of the Korean experience. Why didnt it work?

    Most discussion sites have volunteer moderators, who are usually quite useless.

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