YouTube knows that it has a spam problem, particularly when it comes to its two-year-old Shorts feature. In an attempt to do something about it, the streamer has announced it's deactivating links in Shorts descriptions, comments and the vertical live feed. YouTube is also taking away the ability to click on social media icons on any desktop channel banners. The new changes will start to roll out on August 31st.
Though YouTube claims it won't continue its "unclickable" crusade, but it adds, "Because abuse tactics evolve quickly, we have to take preventative measures to make it harder for scammers and spammers to mislead or scam users via links." At the same time, YouTube is adding new links on creators' channels, with a big clickable link appearing by the Subscribe button starting August 23rd. The link can bring users to anything from merchandise sites to social media accounts. The platform also recently introduced more creator tools for Shorts, like voiceovers. However, it won't be until at least the end of September that the streamer introduces "safer" ways to guide people from their Shorts back to the rest of their content.
Aside from links, YouTube is working on reducing the number of impersonation accounts by reportedly improving the strategies it uses to find these accounts and subsequently remove them. According to the platform, over 35 percent more accounts were removed because of impersonation in Q1 of 2023 compared to Q1 of 2022 (though if this is because of better policies or simply more fake accounts is unclear). The streamer is also holding more comments for review through its recent Increase Strictness feature.