October 1, 2022

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YouTube is cracking down on Spammer’s trick to impersonate creators with special characters

3 min read

YouTube is cracking down on Spammer’s trick to impersonate creators with special characters



YouTube is cracking down on Spammer’s trick to impersonate creators with special characters

Spam isn’t a new problem with social media, but everyone seems to think it’s gotten worse lately.

YouTube is tackling its own spam problem with some feature changes designed to make it harder for fake accounts to impersonate real accounts.

Starting July 29, YouTube channels will no longer be able to hide their true subscriber counts.

Hiding subscriber counts is an easy way for spammy accounts to mask their true status in order to impersonate larger, established channels.

YouTube is cracking down on Spammer's trick to impersonate creators with special characters

YouTube acknowledged that “some creators like to hide their subscriber counts when trying to grow,” but the company believes this potentially controversial measure is necessary to reduce the prevalence of fakers.

This change is sure to upset some people, as YouTube actually removed an option here.

The platform has also put new special character limits on channel names, another measure designed to make it harder for imposters to hide in plain sight.

Some special characters will no longer be allowed, for example, YouTube doesn’t want people to spell things with all the special characters, like “$youⓉube” — a common spam tactic.

Spam accounts often copy the name of the person they pretend to be, but subtly (or not so subtly) change a character or two.

At first glance, a fake channel may look like the real thing, and at scale, this is enough to lure unsuspecting users into a fake channel or visit deceptive links.

YouTube also announced that its “increased rigor” comment moderation setting will be rolled out to all creators.

The option, which can be turned on in the Community settings menu, will filter comments more aggressively than the default setting, potentially eliminating more of what YouTube calls “identity abuse” and other junk that clogs the corners of the platform.

YouTube creators have been calling attention to a frustrating increase in spam in recent months.

In April, YouTube tech host Marques Brownlee posted a video expressing his frustration with the issue, saying he’d been dealing with “out-of-control” spam in the comments for months.

Brownlee tweeted at the time about YouTube’s “stricter” comment moderation tool, and now the formerly experimental feature will be available to everyone fed up with spam.



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