In September, YouTube changed its policies to require users to log in to their Google+ accounts before they could leave a comment on one of the videos uploaded to the site.
From a business perspective, the move gave Google increased access to highly coveted mobile user data by allowing it to collect information from users who log in to Google+ on their iPhones to comment on YouTube (and then forget to log out as they go about their lives).
But the decision is also helping Google achieve another one of its goals: Shutting up YouTube's notoriously barbaric anonymous commenters. According to YouTube partner vidIQ, YouTube has received 40% fewer comments since it implemented the policy changes, a stunning drop that took place in less than two months.
The eyebrow-raising statistic, reported by Adweek's Garrett Sloane, confirms that people are much less courageous about making racist, sexist, homophobic, and altogether vile comments in public when there's a chance those comments could get linked back to their offline person.
It also makes YouTube more attractive to major brands who might want to advertise on the site, an initiative the company has taken quite seriously lately in light of recent deals with big-time media buyers and its hiring of an executive from consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.
In the past, brands have had to worry about having their content placed beside hateful anonymous comments, as happened when Cheerios posted a ground-breaking ad earlier this year featuring a mixed-race family. The new comment policy gives them greater confidence that investing in YouTube ads and sponsored content will not get wasted amidst a sea of ignorance, making them that much more likely to give YouTube more of their money.
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