YouTube channels can no longer hide their subscriber count

As part of its efforts to combat comment spam, Youtube no longer allows any user to hide their channel’s subscriber count.

“We’ve seen bad actors hide their channels’ subscriber counts to impersonate bigger, more important channels on YouTube. They impersonate other creators in the comments and then lure people to their channel page impersonating them,” a YouTube staff member wrote in a Community blog post today.

Many creators have spoken out in recent months that their comment sections have been clogged with a growing deluge of spam. Some of them are just plain weird and don’t seem to have any nefarious purpose beyond being obnoxious, like the weirdly complimentary copy/paste comments Jacksepticeye drew attention to in March. But some of it comes from people aiming to trick unsuspecting viewers into falling for things like crypto scams.

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The YouTube team representative added that YouTube recognizes that “not all creators who use this option are bad actors” and that some creators “just prefer to hide subscriber counts as they try to grow. “. But if you are one of those, you are out of luck thanks to scammers.

YouTube is also introducing an automatic moderation setting for comments called “increase stringency”. He’s been testing the feature for a few months and is now making it available for anyone to activate in YouTube Studio.

Those who enable higher rigor should see more filtered comments in the “Pending Review” tab, where they must be approved by a video’s creator before they can be added to the video’s comments section .

One final anti-spam rollout: YouTube says it “actively reduces the character set available when choosing a channel name, as some characters can be used to impersonate channels.”

For example, it says: “Channels will not be able to update their name to something like ‘¥ouⓉube✅’ with this change.”

YouTube says it will keep tabs on creator feedback on these features and says its efforts to stamp out spam “in comments and beyond” are ongoing.

Raymond T. Helms