YouTube 'Bug' Has Been Screwing Users' Subscriber Counts

Illustration for article titled YouTube 'Bug' Has Been Screwing Users' Subscriber Counts

The trolls over on 4Chan’s politics board noticed a curious YouTube glitch this week that allowed them to drive down subscriber numbers on any channel their tiny hearts desired. Today, the Team YouTube Twitter account announced that uh, yeah, there’s a bad bug rapidly dropping subscriber counts.

4Channers on /pol/ realized that they could target their most hated libtard video channels by simply subscribing and unsubscribing. Because an unsubscribe counts as two they could theoretically kill the subscriber numbers for a channel like the left-leaning Young Turks.


In reality, this wasn’t really doing anything except maybe giving an admin a brief panic attack. “No actual subscribers are lost, it’s only the count that is incorrect at the moment. We’re working to fix the numbers,” Team YouTube wrote.

But the discovery of the bug is notable for the fact that it was an absurdly easy exploit to use for harassment and the lingering paranoia about YouTube’s secretive practices. Top YouTubers are often complaining about mysterious drops in subscriber counts or confusing abnormalities in the payouts they get for views. The company always maintains that things are normal. The developer’s transparency about this bug and quick action to fix it could make the YouTube stars relax or it might just make them more paranoid.

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Full Disclosure: I have a YouTube channel. Also full disclosure: I have less than 200 subscribers so none of this actually matters... But! I seriously do not trust Google when it comes to ever relying on them for anything money related. I remember a decade ago when they basically fucked all the successful adwords gurus out of bundles of money. Just goes to show that you can make some money with Google/YouTube if you want, but you cannot ever completely trust and rely on them. So before you go and buy that Lambo, invest!