YouTubers are fed up with comment spam, so YouTube is testing a stricter moderation system

Many major YouTube creators have expressed frustration at the rise in comment spam on their channels over the past few weeks, including Linus Tech Tips, Jacksepticeye and MKBHD. The problem has been particularly acute for these high-profile creators, who often see more malicious commenters impersonating them in order to scam their viewers.

“YouTube has a problem. Spam«, said Linus Sebastian at the beginning a video from February 1st on his Linus Tech Tips channel. “From crypto scams to supplements to free Robux, it’s getting worse every day.”

“YouTube comment spam has been out of control for months,” reads Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee’s description Videos from 1.4 entitled “YouTube needs to fix this”.

YouTube comment spam can take many forms. Major YouTubers are often concerned about spam that impersonates them, promises viewers something good in order to send them a message, and then somehow directs individuals away from YouTube, ultimately scamming them.

Other spam comments may be less obviously malicious but still annoying or potentially harmful. In a March 6 videoSeán “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin explains how his channel gets copy-pasted from comments that look real, but they are made by users with names like “T[A]P I!! 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 fight spam comments and removes a large amount of them automatically. Using machine learning and human verification, the company removed “over 950 million comments for violating our policies on spam, deception and fraud” in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi said in a statement The edge. “The vast majority” of those distances were first detected by automated marking systems,” Choi said.

But those systems clearly weren’t enough, and YouTube seems to know it. Brownlee posted about a new one on Friday experimental moderation function This will increase the “severity” of potentially inappropriate comments, which will automatically be held for review. YouTube began testing the expanded feature in December 2021, spokeswoman Mariana De Felice said, noting that the company first rolled out the feature to withhold potentially inappropriate comments for review in 2016.

It sounds like YouTube is watching the topic closely. “Given the evolving nature and changing tactics of spam content, we will continue to adapt our systems to stay current,” Choi said. And YouTubers can take comment spam into their own hands, too — both Sebastian and Brownlee mentioned YouTuber ThioJoe’s “YouTube Spammer Purge” tool, which “allows you to filter and search for spammer comments on your channel and the channels of others.” many different types AND delete/report all at once”, according to the GitHub description.

But for YouTube creators, who currently post a lot of spammy comments, it’s not clear there’ll be any respite any time soon.

Update April 8th 5:09pm ET: Additional context from YouTube on “Increase Strict” function.

Leave a Comment