YouTube introduces new tools to battle comment spam and account imitators

Channels will no longer be able to hide their subscriber counts.


YouTube is enacting more measures in its battle to cut down on comment spam and channel impersonation. Creators now have access to a new setting for comments in YouTube Studio. They'll be able to select an "increase strictness" option. YouTube says this builds on the "hold potentially inappropriate comments for review" setting and will reduce the number of spam and identity abuse comments. It's a less strict option than requiring manual review for all comments or switching them off completely.

As of July 29th, channels won't be able to hide their subscriber counts. YouTube says this is a tactic commonly used by those pretending to be behind larger and more established channels. Impersonators often leave comments on other videos to bring people over to their fake page. For instance, someone who sees a comment left by a user named MrḂeast (with a special character in place of the "B") might click through to that channel to see it has only 100 subscribers, compared with the genuine MrBeast's 97.7 million subscribers.

YouTube acknowledged that some creators prefer to hide their subscriber count while they're building up an audience. However, it says this move will make things safer for everyone.

Speaking of phony channels that use special characters to imitate more prominent creators, that strategy will soon be a little less effective. YouTube says it's reducing the character set that people can use when updating a channel name. It said that bad actors won't be able to modify their name to ”¥ouⓉube” or some such after the change.