YouTube is alerting creators that they could see a “noticeable decrease” in the subscriber counts as they remove spam accounts.
“Heads up that on December 13-14, 2018 you may see a noticeable decrease in your subscriber count as we remove spam subscriptions from your channel,” YouTube writes in a recent post on its product forum. The company regularly check the legitimacy of accounts. Recently, they’ve identified an issue that caused some spam not to be removed. YouTube is taken action and are removing subscribers that are spam.
“We regularly verify the legitimacy of accounts and actions on your YouTube channel,” the blog post reads. “As part of these regular checks, we identified and will remove a number of subscribers that were in fact spam from our systems.”
How will this effect YouTube creators?
The definition used for spam accounts are accounts used to make a channel look more popular than it really is. Sure, larger channels could see a decrease in their subscriber counts. But this spam purge is going to hurt smaller YouTubers the most.
How so? Smaller YouTubers could lose their ability to monetize their videos.
Channels need to have at least 1,000 subscribers to monetize their content. If creators are using spam to boost their subscribers above the 1,000 subscriber threshold, they’ll be affected greatly. They’ll no longer meet the minimum requirements to be in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Those channels will be removed from YPP and lose their monetization abilities.
“Channels that had a high percentage of spam and fall below 1,000 subscribers will no longer meet the minimum requirement for [the YouTube Partner Program] and will be removed from the program,” YouTube says. “They are encouraged to reapply once they’ve rebuilt their subscribers organically.”
The spam cleansing will end tomorrow. Also, affected channels will see a banner in YouTube Studio or Classic Creator Studio in a few days.