Many top YouTube creators have expressed frustration with the increase in spam on their channels in recent weeks, including Linus Tech Tips, Jacksepticeye, and MKBHD. The problem has been particularly acute for these high-profile creators, who often see malicious commenters posing as them in an attempt to scam their viewers.
“YouTube has a problem. Spam”, said Linus Sebastian to start a video from February 1 on his Linus Tech Tips channel. “From crypto scams to health supplements and free Robux, it just keeps getting worse with each passing day.”
“YouTube comment spam has been out of control for months,” says Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee’s description April 1 video titled “YouTube needs to fix this”.
YouTube comment spam can take many forms. Top creators are often concerned about spam masquerading as them, promising viewers something nice to message them, and then directing people off of YouTube in some way to eventually scam them.
Other spam comments may be less overtly malicious but just as annoying or potentially harmful. In a video from March 6Seán “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin talks about how his channel will copy and paste genuine-looking comments, but they will be shared by users with names like “T[A]P Me!! Have [S]EX with me.” (If you see a profile with that name, don’t click or tap on it.)
YouTube has many tools to combat spam comments and removes a large number of them automatically. Using machine learning and human review, the company removed “more than 950 million comments for violating our policies on spam, deception and scams” in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi said in a statement. to The edge. “The vast majority” of those deletions were first detected by automated flagging systems, Choi said.
But those systems clearly haven’t been enough, and YouTube seems to know it. Brownlee posted Friday about a new experimental moderation function that will “increase the rigor” of potentially inappropriate comments being automatically held for review. It’s unclear exactly what changes with this feature or when YouTube expects it to be widely available, and we’ve asked Choi to clarify.
This “Increase Rigor” content moderation tool is a new YouTube experiment that has been in the works for a while. Hoping it can make a dent in this comment spam we’ve been seeing lately. pic.twitter.com/KVkjVCOUKZ
—Marquis Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 8, 2022
It seems that YouTube is watching the problem closely. “Given the changing nature and tactics of spam content, we will continue to adapt our systems to keep up with the times,” Choi said. And creators can take comment spam into their own hands, too: Sebastian and Brownlee both mentioned the “YouTube Spammer Purge” tool created by YouTuber ThioJoe, which “allows you to filter and search for comments from spammers on your channel and on YouTube channels.” others in many different ways AND delete/report them all at once”, as per GitHub description.
But for YouTube creators who are getting a lot of spam comments right now, it’s not clear if there will be a reprieve anytime soon.