YouTube says it fixed a glitch that prevented channels from publicly displaying accurate subscriber counts — leading many creators to see a sudden plunge in their followers.
On Monday afternoon, the Google-owned video service said in a message on its support site that it had discovered and corrected the bug. The issue did not affect subscriber counts on YouTube Analytics, which had provided accurate subscriber numbers.
With the update, public subscriber counts on channels changed to reflect the recent purge of inactive or bogus followers. “We take the relationship between our content creators and their subscribers seriously and work hard to keep those numbers accurate by filtering out suspicious activity around the clock,” YouTube says.
Over the past two days, some YouTube creators have taken to social media to express dismay and confusion over suddenly seeing their subscriber tallies drop.
YouTube in 2014 instituted a process of weeding out inactive and bogus users from channel subscriber counts.
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According to the site, users who attempt to boost subscriber numbers through automated means or through “sub-for-sub” exchanges violate YouTube’s terms of service. “We regularly verify accounts’ subscribers to channels and penalize the accounts engaging in illegitimate activity,” YouTube says.