YouTube disables links on Shorts to reduce spam

Spam on YouTube Shorts is growing, so the platform is changing. The business says links in Shorts comments, descriptions, and vertical live feeds will no longer be clickable on August 31. A new regulation aims to prevent scammers and spammers from deceiving people via links.

The company said spammy links could lead users to malware, phishing, and other frauds, thus the adjustment was needed.

YouTube already has mechanisms and standards to detect and remove bogus connections, so the approach is excessive. Instead of using this technology, it disables these links. Since the changes will happen gradually, not all links will be disabled on August 31st.

Since clickable social media icons have been used to defraud consumers with deceptive links, the business is deleting them from all desktop channel banners.

However, reputable artists can use links to monetize their work by promoting products and brands to their followers. YouTube will offer additional ways for users to safely integrate links in their videos.Creators’ channel profiles will have “prominent” clickable links beside their ‘Subscribe’ button starting August 23 on mobile and desktop. Creators can link to websites, social media accounts, merchandising sites, and other YouTube Community Guidelines-compliant links here.Shorts makers who wish to link to their long-form videos can still do so soon. YouTube will create a safer option for Shorts creators to drive viewers to their other YouTube video by September.

These adjustments follow earlier YouTube spam reduction attempts, such as impersonation channel detection enhancements. YouTube reports a 35% increase in impersonation-related removals and terminations from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023.

It also upgraded its function that detects and holds potentially spammy and inappropriate comments for author review, resulting in a 200% increase in comments held for review in the first week of June after the modifications went live compared to May.