YouTube's new measures to combat spam and impersonation

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 4 Jul, 2022
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Actions include better auto-filtering on comments, stopping hidden subscriber counts and limiting special characters in channel names.

YouTube safety.

Image: Szabo Viktor, Unsplash

YouTube has stepped up efforts against content spam and creator impersonation with a number of updates which it outlined on its Creator Insider Channel. It said comment spam and identity-related abuse were top of mind for many people and the measures were designed to protect both viewers and creators.

Increased strictness level for comment moderation

This measure relates to the ability to hold comments before they appear on your channel. The update allows creators to increase the severity of the auto moderation tool for your channel.  

Turning on these settings increases the detection settings for potentially inappropriate comments and spam. With the new, stricter setting, creators should see more spam being filtered automatically under the Held for Review tab. From there, you can either allow the comment through to be posted to your channel, or not.  

You can enable the stricter setting in your account via Settings > Community > Defaults.  Then select “Hold potentially inappropriate comments” and check the box for increased strictness. Click on Save, and the new settings will be applied.

Stricter moderation.

No more hidden subscriber counts

YouTube is disabling hidden subscriber counts, saying “as YouTube grows, we find it’s often used to impersonate channels”.  Bad actors can lure people back to their own channels by impersonating other creators in the comments. With effect from the end of July, channels will no longer be able to hide their subscriber counts on YouTube.

YouTube acknoledged that not all creators using this feature were bad actors, but said the decision was made to help the community be safer overall.

Special characters limited

One way bad actors can impersonate established channels is by using special characters in channel names.  To combat this, YouTube is reducing the character set creators can choose from when updating their name moving forward.  Here’s YouTube’s example of a name update which will no longer be allowed.

Name update.

You can watch the whole Creator Insider video here:

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