YouTube Blocks Links in Shorts to Fight Scammers





YouTube Shorts has been the video site’s fastest area of growth. But it’s also become a nest for scams and spam.

In response, YouTube parent Google will start blocking links in Shorts comments and descriptions. It started blocking clickable social media icons on Thursday. On August 31, Google will start blocking links in comments, descriptions and the vertical live feed. The company said the change will roll out gradually.

While fighting scammers is a worthy cause, the move makes it difficult for creators to drive traffic to their own content or to recommend products, which is often key to their livelihood. Google said it will introduce a prominent clickable link on channel pages. In September, it’ll introduce a new way to direct viewers from Shorts to their other content, but declined to provide more details.

YouTube has long fielded complaints about spam content, and has long battled this problem. The company said it working to reduce impersonations across YouTube, removing channels and aggressively targeting accounts that try to copy high-profile creators.

It’s also working to improve the moderation tool, which works to flag and filter out inappropriate or spammy comments.

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