Spam is not a new problem for social media, but everyone seems to agree that the situation has gotten worse in recent times.
YouTube fixes its own spam issues with a few changes to features designed to make it harder for fake accounts to impersonate real ones.
From July 29, YouTube channels will no longer be able to hide number of followers. Hiding subscriber numbers is an easy way for spam accounts to hide what’s really going on with them in order to impersonate larger, more established channels.
YouTube acknowledges that “some creators choose to hide their subscriber count as they try to grow”, but the company saw the potentially controversial measure as necessary to reduce the prevalence of copycats. This change is sure to upset some people as YouTube is actually removing an option here rather than adding something, but the company is making a move nonetheless.
The platform also imposes new restrictions on the use of special characters for channel names, another measure designed to make it harder for imitators to hide in plain sight. Some special characters will no longer be allowed, but it looks like you can still add a weird character if it makes it to the list. Essentially, YouTube doesn’t want people to transcribe words with special characters a la “¥ouⓉube” – a common spam tactic.
Spam accounts often copy the name of who they claim to be, but subtly (or not so subtly) change one or two characters. At first glance, a fake channel may look like a real one, but at scale, this is enough to lure unwitting users to a fake channel or fraudulent links or whatever they promote.
YouTube is also announcing that its “increase strictness” comment moderation setting will apply to all creators. The option, which can be enabled in the community settings menu, will filter comments more aggressively than the default setting, potentially eliminating more of what YouTube calls “privacy abuse” as well as other spam material littering your corner of the platform.
The creators of YouTube are taking note of the disappointing surge in spam in recent months. In April, YouTuber Marques Brownlee, a consumer tech specialist, posted a video. expressing my disappointment with the subject and noting that he has been dealing with spam that has “gone next level out of control” in his comments for months. brownlee tweeted about YouTube’s “severity” comment moderation tool at the time, and this previously experimental feature will now be available to anyone who’s tired of spam.
Credit: techcrunch.com /