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.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.