TORONTO – Google has changed a policy forcing Google+ users to have their real names on their profiles, allowing anonymous commenting to resume on YouTube after an eight-month hiatus – music to the ears of Internet trolls.
Google announced late Tuesday Google+ users will be able to sign up for an account using any kind of user name.
In an effort to improve YouTube’s troll-ridden comments section, Google changed the video platform to a comments system powered by Google+ in November 2013.
Google+ required users to register accounts with a proper name – though it didn’t take steps to verify if that was the user’s real name.
According to Google’s annoucement, there will be “no more restrictions” when it comes to choosing a user name. However, it must still include a first and last name – though one can now be an initial – and names can only be changed a limited number of times.
Google’s policy still notes that users are not to impersonate anyone else in their profile.
“We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users,” read Google’s announcement.
“For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.”
But YouTube and Google+ users are already anticipating the return of the trolls.
“Translation: It’s safe to come out and play again comment trolls,” commented one user.
“Well that sucks. The previous name policy forced the trolls to actually own up to their comments rather than cowardly hiding behind a fake name. I foresee a lot more trolling and spam around here,” wrote another.
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