Spammers Flood Youtube With Junk

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 10, 2010
Updated • Oct 27, 2016
Google, Youtube

It seems that spammers have finally found a new target for their campaigns: YouTube. If you have performed a search on the video hosting platform lately and decided to sort the results by upload date you may have been shocked depending on the results that came up.

Searches for popular games or applications for instance show dozens, sometimes hundreds of short,  crappy videos that claim to provide information on how to get those for free or at a bargain.

Even worse is that these video results appear on seemingly unrelated searches as well. A search for Google currently lists multiple videos about Assassins Creed 2 cracks and downloads on the search results page when sorted by upload date.

The spammers seem to use different accounts, probably automatically generated to upload videos so that it becomes harder to ban them from the video portal.

Many use spammy descriptions with lots of unrelated keywords so that the videos are displayed on searches matching those keywords as well.

The video description usually contains a link from an url shortening service such as tinyurl that often leads to file uploading sites that pay uploaders for downloaded files. They can however also lead to malicious sites. It is generally not recommended to follow the links that are posted on those video pages.

YouTube has a "Flag as Inappropriate" button on every video page that can be used to send the video to the review queue so that staff will review it. That button is however only usable for logged in users. It is also not available on search result listings, only on single video pages.

How is your YouTube experience? Has it improved, remained the same or decreased recently?

Update: It appears as if Google managed to get spam under control, at least when it comes to the queries mentioned above. You can still find videos about cracks and hacks though, for instance if you add crack to a game title. There is plenty of content on YouTube covering that.

Spammers Flood Youtube With Junk
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Spammers Flood Youtube With Junk
Spammers are flooding the video portal YouTube currently with short, uninformative videos that pop up on popular search queries.
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  1. moonflowerdragon said on January 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Definitely decreased Martin… I can’t find anything by the search terms I want, uploaded recently, because of junk (not necessarily spam I suppose (I don’t hang around to review irrelevant video)) – by which I mean videos that have been tagged with the terms I use even though they have nothing to do with the topic as well as dozens of other tags that have nothing to do with their video. Effectively, even if the video is not spam, the tagging is.

    I’ve discovered that there is a limit to the number of “not” (-) terms I can include: (-) stopped working after the fourth, given two +terms.

    Relevance would be wonderful – it gives me videos that meet my search terms, but nothing recent – and I know through browsing that there are recent relevant uploads.

  2. Anonymous said on April 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    youtube needs to find a way to filter out the spammers.

  3. Will said on April 11, 2010 at 3:30 am

    YouTube sucks. I can’t get more than 5mbps on my 16mbps connection.


    The April, 2010 redesign sucks even more.

    Videos tend to drop frames, even 480p which is sad since I can play two 1080p videos using Media Player Classic on my system at the same time and use just 40% CPU.

    In summary YouTube sucks now!!

  4. Marco said on April 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Youtube = Spam :(

  5. libeco said on April 10, 2010 at 11:11 am

    When I hear about a nice goal scored I often try to find it on YouTube. Nowadays 8 out of 10 videos which say to have the goal, only show one image with the rest of the video filled with links where you supposedly could download the video. The annoying bit is that these kind of videos are often not easy to recognise beforehand as the description often is a normal one.

    Since I’m not really into games I haven’t had any experience with the mentioned spammers.

    1. Martin said on April 10, 2010 at 11:24 am

      Well I was looking for Google, not games ;)

      1. libeco said on April 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

        Oops, missed that… :)

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