I do not really read comments on YouTube that often and I attribute that partially to the quality of the comments on the site. There is no comment moderation at all, which means that you will get a lot of "earn $1000 a day", "lose 20 pounds in 1 week" and the like spam on the site.
You also get a lot of trolling, hateful comments and other comments that would never appear in this way on blogs or other sites that moderate their comments.
Google's solution, posted yesterday, is to link the company's own Google+ social networking service closer to YouTube. In fact, it plans to use the comment system of the service on YouTube.
What does it mean?
All YouTube users who want to comment on the site need to link their Google identity to YouTube. So, instead of showing up as nickname on YouTube, you will show up with you real name instead. If you have a Google identity photo, that will show up too and become your YouTube avatar.
What are the benefits?
Users can now start conversations that are public, limited to their Google+ circle, or just a single friend. Replies get threaded just like on Gmail so that it is easier to follow the conversation.
Some comments will be pushed to the top. This includes comments from users of your Google+ circle, popular personalities, the video creator and those who have started an engaging discussion.
Last but not least, it gives authors better comment moderating options. All comments can be reviewed before they are published, authors may block certain words automatically, or whitelist users they trust so that their comments appear automatically.
If you do not want to link your YouTube and Google+ account, or show your real identity on YouTube when commenting, then you cannot do so. It is as simple as that. I think that Google will make this mandatory at one point in time, so that the requests to use your Google identity on YouTube cannot by bypassed anymore.
The real problem however is that I do not think that this will be that helpful. One could argue that users won't post that much spam anymore if they have to use a Google account to do so. While that seems logical at first, it is not. You can buy 20 Google accounts for $5 over at Fiverr and use them to spam the site just like before.
While some authors and channel owners may use the new moderating features, most probably won't as it will waste a lot of time if they do.
It is interesting to note that Google has not implemented a blacklist feature. You can only set comments to moderation if you want to prevent that spam comments appear on your channel.
I'm pretty certain that Google is aware that it is easy to get your hands on many Google accounts for little money.
Google's real intention is to make all YouTube users switch to a Google identity. The company has tried to do so in the past by displaying prompts that ask users to make the switch, but it never forced the issue until now.
Now, it is putting pressure on users who do more than watch videos on YouTube. If you want to comment, you need to use a Google identity to do so. And that means displaying your real name and profile photo as well if you have one.
Spammers on the other hand will buy accounts in bulk and use them to spam the site just like they did before.