Social Media

YouTube Disables Hidden Subscriber Counts

As part of a larger effort to combat creator impersonation across the platform, YouTube has stopped allowing channels to hide their subscriber count.

Hiding subscriber numbers is one way spammers impersonate other channels when leaving comments.

Low subscribers is a dead giveaway that someone doesn’t pretend to be another content creator.

Comment spam and identity-related abuse are a lot of people’s concerns on YouTube today.

In response, several updates are being rolled out to help protect viewers and content creators from comment spam while making it more difficult to impersonate creators.

Updates include:

  • Disable hidden subscriber numbers
  • Enhanced auto moderation capabilities
  • Limit the use of special characters in channel names

Below is more information about each of these updates.

The number of hidden subscribers

Historically, YouTube channels have been able to hide the number of subscribers they have.

Some content creators find this feature valuable, such as those who are just starting out and don’t want to be judged by the number of subscribers they have.

However, it is often used to impersonate channels, says YouTube.

Bad actors often attract people to their channel page by impersonating other creators in the comments.

After an update rolled out at the end of July, channels will no longer be able to hide subscriber numbers on YouTube.

YouTube believes this decision will make the community safer, though it will certainly upset creators who haven’t abused the option to hide subscribers.

Stricter moderation in the comments

YouTube allows channels to automatically keep comments moderated before they go live for all to see.

YouTube’s automatic moderation update gives creators the option to increase strictness.

Making comment moderation more stringent will increase detection settings for potentially inappropriate comments and spam.

You can increase the strictness by logging into Creator Studio and selecting Settings. Then select Community, then Defaults.

Check the box labeled “Subject potentially inappropriate comments to review,” and then select “Intensify.”

When this new setting is turned on, more spam and RFPs will automatically be filtered under the “Pending for Review” tab.

From there, channels can either delete the comment or make it public.

Limit special characters

Using special characters in channel names is one way bad actors impersonate existing channels.

To thwart impersonation attempts, YouTube is reducing the character set creators can choose from when updating their name going forward.

However, existing names with special characters can remain in place.

Source: Creator Insider
Featured image: rafapress/Shutterstock

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