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Hate link spam in YouTube Shorts? Google is disabling all user links soon.

The links will still be there, but you won't be able to click them.

Published onAugust 10, 2023

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Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • At the end of August 2023, Google will disable all links in YouTube Shorts to cut down on spam.
  • The links will still appear in videos, comments, and descriptions, but you won’t be able to click them.
  • Google will have new ways for creators to link to content rolled out by the end of September 2023.

If you’ve ever watched a popular YouTube Short, you probably saw lots of links. Obviously, there are probably some in the description from the creator, but there are also some in the vertical live feed and, most egregiously, in the comments. It’s very easy to tap one of these links and be taken…somewhere.

The problem with this, of course, is that it’s incredibly easy for scammers and spammers to take advantage of this linking free-for-all. In response, Google announced today that it will fight YouTube Shorts spam by essentially going nuclear: it will gradually remove almost all active links from the platform (via The Verge).

To be clear, that means user-submitted links will still be allowed. You will no longer be able to click them, though. If a user wanted, they could still write out the link in their browser’s address bar and manually visit, but not many folks will do that.

This change will begin on August 31, 2023. In the meantime, starting August 23, a new section of the YouTube app will open to creators where they can put clickable links. Google also promises that by the end of September, there will be a new way for creators to add links to other YouTube content safely. In other words, all the clickable links in and around a Short will be from the creator and no one else.

We’ll need to wait and see how this war on YouTube Shorts spam pans out for both users and creators.

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