YouTube is taking decisive action to combat spam and scams on its two-year-old Shorts video feature. It plans to disable clickable links in Shorts comments, descriptions, and vertical live feeds. This move responds to evolving abuse tactics and seeks to enhance user security. To maintain viewer navigation, YouTube will introduce a safer method to guide users from Shorts to other content by September’s end.
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Unclickable Links in Comments and Descriptions
The susceptibility to scams and deceptive tactics through freely clickable links prompted YouTube’s proactive policy change. The new measure prevents links from appearing in Shorts’ comments, video descriptions, and vertical live feeds. This policy, deemed an “extreme measure,” aims to shield the community from security risks like phishing and malware. YouTube has already implemented strategies to curtail such activity, including enhanced impersonation channel detection and improved comment moderation.
Starting August 31, mobile and desktop users will observe non-clickable links within Shorts. Meanwhile, creators’ channel profiles will feature a noticeable clickable link adjacent to the ‘Subscribe’ button. This enables them to direct followers to long-form content using links adhering to the platform’s Community Guidelines. Moreover, by September’s close, YouTube plans to introduce a safer technique for creators to guide viewers from Shorts to other content.
Mitigating Risks and Enhancing User Experience
To mitigate risks associated with malicious content, YouTube will render links unclickable across Shorts’ video descriptions, comments, and vertical live feeds starting August 31. This proactive approach prevents users from clicking on deceptive links that could expose them to scams, malware, or harmful content.
Although YouTube already employs existing mechanisms to detect spammy links, the company has taken a step further by disabling them altogether. Recognizing the need for creators to include links for legitimate purposes like endorsing products, YouTube will introduce a substantial clickable link by the subscribe button on channel banners from August 23. This allows redirection to merchandise websites or social media profiles and accompanies the launching of new creator tools, including voiceovers. Additionally, by September’s conclusion, YouTube pledges to provide “safer ways” for creators to lead viewers from Shorts to other content.
Despite its popularity, the YouTube Shorts feature has become a breeding ground for spam, scams, and dubious activities. To address this concern, YouTube is instituting several modifications, notably deactivating clickable links in Shorts’ descriptions, vertical live feed, and comments sections. Furthermore, clickable social media icons will be removed from desktop channel banners.
Effective August 31, this policy change aims to curb spammers and scammers who exploit links to direct users to malicious content. However, smaller creators heavily reliant on YouTube Shorts for revenue may be impacted. To address this, YouTube plans to provide creators with a distinct profile space to share prominent, clickable links adhering to community guidelines. This feature will commence rollout on August 23, near the ‘Subscribe’ button on their channel pages.
Guiding Users Safely from Shorts to Other Content
You Tube Shorts, akin to TikTok, has grown popular but also attracted spammers and scammers who leverage clickable links for deception. Consequently, YouTube is taking measures to counter this trend.
Starting August 31, clickable links within Shorts’ descriptions, comments, and vertical feed will be rendered unclickable. Moreover, YouTube will eliminate social media icons from desktop channel banners.
The platform has recently introduced additional creator tools for Shorts. It plans to unveil “safer ways” for users to navigate from Shorts to longer content by the end of September.
In the interim, mobile and desktop viewers will observe “prominent” clickable links on creators’ channels near the ‘Subscribe’ button. These can be utilized to share compliant websites, social profiles, merchandise sites, and more by YouTube’s Community Guidelines. This feature rollout begins on August 23. For more details, refer to You Tube official communication.