Google has gone from a Super-Wonder to Extremely bad, unpleasant and terrible…
Nasdaq reports Google’s Nightmarish tales about its unwelcomed changes to Youtube:
Google’s Awful Changes to YouTube Laid Bare in Nightmarish Tale
Earlier this month, Google ( GOOG ) overhauled YouTube’s comment section — the place where taste, logic, and decency go to die — and integrated Google+ in the hopes that attaching real names would lead to better discussions.
The response from users, however, was far from positive. Users bemoaned the erosion of privacy and the ability to post videos and comments anonymously. (Never mind the fact that any site with a Facebook ( FB ) comment section featuring real names contains just about as much ignorance and hate as your standard YouTube video.) They accused the move of being a blatant attempt to boost Google+ traffic and usage, and complained that the actual implementation of the comment section — wherein awful posts are pushed to the top simply because they have a large number of replies — is one of the worst design decisions Google has ever backed.
But if you thought the recent changes Google made to YouTube were bad before, wait until you hear the harrowing, nightmarish tale of what happened to Michael Janitch, a.k.a dutchsinse, when his account was flagged.
Janitch found himself at the mercy of a major security flaw in Google+, influenced by the company’s push to use real names on the social network. His dutchsinse profile on Google+ was flagged erroneously (and, with a heaping bowl of irony, anonymously) for being an imposter. In cases like these, Google tends to take a “shut down first, never ask questions later” approach and promptly deleted Janitch’s dutchsinse page. However, because his popular YouTube page is tied to that Google+ account, all his videos and subscribers were removed as well.
More than 800 videos and 75,000 subscribers accumulated over the course of three years gone, all because someone flagged his separate Google+ account. His YouTube account, according to Janitch, never received a single strike or violation otherwise.
Janitch wasn’t sent an email from YouTube or Google+ regarding the issue. And despite having his cell phone number tied to both accounts for log-in verification, he didn’t receive a mobile notification either.
Making matters even more Kafkaesque, not only is there absolutely no way to dispute the flag before Google automatically shuts down a profile, there is no official recourse to get your videos back. It took one of Janitch’s inside connections at Google to contact the policy team to restore his YouTube page, his videos, and his subscribers. But that still left Janitch without a means to use his Google+ account on YouTube without going through a confirmation process.
And that confirmation process is pretty horrifying, too.
From Google+, a user who has been flagged as an imposter is taken to a Reinstatement Request page which reads:
Google+ has always been about connecting just the right people. Whether you’re reaching out to an old friend or looking up the business hours of a local store on its Google+ Page, you want to be confident that these profiles and pages really represent who they say they do. We are concerned that your Google+ Page is impersonating another person or entity. In order to keep Google+ safe, we need to verify some information about your page.
From there, you identify the profile as either an individual or business, and then you’re taken to a form to confirm your identity.
How do you confirm your identity? A photo ID.
Proving that online anonymity has fully eroded on YouTube, Janitch was forced to send a copy of his passport to prove his identity. However, bear in mind, the Google+ profile was for “dutchsinse,” not Michael Janitch. Obviously, the name “dutchsinse” doesn’t appear anywhere on Janitch’s passport, so there was no simple way for him to confirm his online persona.
And Janitch had to go through this process six times.
Six times, someone with a grudge — or simply wishing to prove the absolute mess caused by YouTube’s Google+ integration — flagged Janitch’s account as an imposter and six times he had to jump through hoops in order to get it back. Of course, the user flagging the account doesn’t have to provide an ID in order to prove that Janitch was, in fact, impersonating him. Only the accused must prove his innocence.
It is astounding how many problems Google caused with this integration. Cleaning up YouTube comments is a wonderful notion, some might even say a pipe dream. But not only did Google exacerbate the problem — as evidenced by fake Google+ accounts and the lack of a character limit in the new comment section — it has penalized honest YouTube users with a confirmation rigmarole for erroneous accusations on a completely different site.
Google, it’s time to fix your fix.
video explanation here:
My youtube channel , http://www.youtube.com/dutchsinse, was erroneously shut down yesterday, lost all videos, and all Google+ access. I had no strikes, no violations, and was all green across the board.
How did my youtube get terminated? Easily.
They simply flagged my GOOGLE+ account as an “impersonator”. Yes, flagged my own dutchsinse MAIN GOOGLE+ page as an impersonator. LOL. They can do it anonymously, with no warning, and with no recourse by you to fix it, except, to SEND A PHOTO ID OF YOURSELF to G+ to prove you are who you say you are.
click to view full size:
What? Send a photo ID to G+ to save your YOUTUBE page from shutdown, after your G+ was falsely flagged as an “impersonator”?!!!
Madness. Seriously, big problem here, how do you PROVE you’re a screen name?
They’re asking for a photo ID to prove who I am. However, the google+ is named “dutchsinse”. My real name is Michael Janitch.
I sent them a copy of my passport 48 hours ago, filled out the form with my real name, never even received a confirmation reply that they received it. and as of today 220am CT november 21, no reply at all.
I’m dutchsinse. How can someone ELSE, an anonymous person, report me for “impersonation”? Which then causes G+ to INSTANTLY shut down my whole G+ page…. which then leads to the INSTANT TERMINATION OF MY YOUTUBE PAGE, and a blocking of all my associated G+ pages.
A domino effect caused by one single false flagging, one single easy abuse of a security feature on youtube that, SHOULD, have human review behind it, and should not be automated.
Yesterday, thanks to this fake / false google+ shutdown , I lost 75,000 subscribers, and 800+ videos. Lost access to ALL of it. Due to a single false flag on a separate service away from youtube!!!
Again, no email from youtube OR google+ was sent to me, warning me, or giving me a dispute option.
Very strange too, Google+ and youtube BOTH have my cellphone number already on file for login and verification purposes, no message sent to my mobile device at all.
Don’t forget, MOST IMPORTANTLY, there was no recourse to solve this. No link to click on, no email to send, and no option to dispute. For me to get it fixed, it literally took someone who works there to privately contact the “policy team” and do a few things to get my youtube restored.
Still locked out on Google+, still cannot make any comment even below my own video, and still cannot share anything via the share button. No reply from google, except to ask for an ID with my SCREENNAME on it?!
lol, can you say NIGHTMARE scenario here.
Meanwhile, no laughing matter, 3 years of work , 800+ videos, and 75,000+ subscribers on the line… all capable of being wiped out from a SEPARATE service like google+ ? Somethings not right about this.
Imagine if someone could shut down your PERSONAL facebook page with the click of a button, and then YOU have to prove who YOU are because they clicked a button.
Guilty until proven innocent , meanwhile they DELETE your youtube page, delete all your content, and you have to fight to get it back?
Shouldn’t the person making the impersonation CLAIM have to provide THEIR ID???????
Anyone can get shut down this way. Maybe a few larger channels will get slammed, then google might take notice. Right now, they’re not responding to any of my contact attempts.