Google+ has gone through more unnecessary username drama than your standard YouTube comments thread. But the social networking site announced Tuesday that it will no longer enforce restrictions on the usernames its members choose.
The streamlined name system basically eliminates out-of-control YouTube troll drama.
In 2012, YouTube and Google sought to crack down on inappropriate and vulgar YouTube commenters by forcing all users to comment using Google+ profiles (and subsequently raising the number of Google+ users—a seeming win-win for Google). At the same time, it strongly encouraged them to use their real names, unless they had a good reason, like using YouTube as the creator of a show or channel.
Two years later, Google+ is back at square 1 with no real changes to its name system. But, to the relief of many angry YouTube commenters, the #nymwars (a hashtag created for Google and YouTube’s commenter pseudonym wars) have finally ended.
To the end of the #nymwars! May the weird continue to flourish, find it's own spaces!
— rektide de la fey (@rektide) July 15, 2014
In case you care, Google has surrendered; that front in the Nymwars is closed. https://t.co/BLbG7h6fa2
— McNutcase (@McNutcase) July 15, 2014
For all of the trouble, Google+ users will feel the least impact—this change will only affect YouTube commenters who once fought valiantly to preserve their cyber-cloak-of-invisibility.
Good news, YouTube commenters—you can once again troll in anonymity.
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that Google encouraged YouTube commenters to use real names when it switched to Google+ commenting, but they weren’t forced to do so.
Image courtesy of Flickr user wolfgangfoto