Wil Wheaton, the actor best known for playing sweater-loving Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is really, really angry at Google. According to Mr. Wheaton, Google switched out YouTube’s thumbs up functionality for a big, honking “Google+ Like” button. Mr. Wheaton is so angry, in fact, that he has a message for the company: “Oh, go fuck yourself, Google. Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to ‘upgrade’ to G+, you dickheads,” he wrote on his Tumblr. Set your phasers to ouch, you guys.
Mr. Wheaton claims that as a producer, the thumbs up and down are crucial to the success of his web series “Tabletop,” as he “need[s] them to earn another season of our show.” Fair enough. We’d like to add that Google+ is dumb and practically nobody uses it except for Google employees, who are probably all forced to.
It’s worth noting that we still see the thumbs up feature on YouTube, so perhaps the Google+ like button has only rolled out to some users. If Google intends to force Google+ buttons upon all videos, we will definitely share in Mr. Wheaton’s ire: Being able to see how many likes and unlikes a video gets is a terribly important component to determining whether or not you should watch that cat video.
“You get people to enthusiastically use services by making them compelling and awesome and easy to use,” wrote Mr. Wheaton on his blog. “You don’t get people to enthusiastically use your services by forcing them to.” You don’t… unless you’re the Borg.