"I don't know what reply girls are or what has been going on for the last week or so - please tell me!" (click the spoiler below)
I'm sure you're all aware of the plague of "replygirls" in related videos on big YouTubers that is getting way out of hand. This is extremely frustrating for us and our viewers as it results in a big loss of views to other smaller channels with relevant related content and irritates the people watching! Example of this spam: http://i.imgur.com/2rywa.png https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net...22204771_n.jpg
Some of these are bots, and all of these replygirls have managed to get partnership and are actively doing this for money - producing hundreds of low quality mass-replies to every big video in order to appear in the "related" videos. In many cases, it is obvious they haven't even watched the video they are replying to.
This is directly against the Youtube Terms of Service:
"Everyone hates spam. Do not create misleading descriptions, tags, titles or thumbnails in order to increase views. It's not OK to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted or repetitive content, including comments and private messages."
"Tags are meant to help users find relevant videos. It’s not cool to use unrelated tags to try to trick people into watching your video. Select tags that accurately describe your video. If you do take the low road, your video will likely be struck for misleading metadata."
A simple fix would be to block videos from appearing in "related" videos if they have more than 75% dislikes, as these videos routinely have in the region of 95% dislikes. But Youtube have not been willing to change this and prevent this problem getting worse. The excuse we have been given is that "If Richard Dawkins posted a video that was downvoted by a whole load of creationists, should we hide it from the related videos on YouTube?" My reply to this was: "Yes, if he was ripping off the title, tags, putting no original content into the video and showing off his cleavage in the thumbnail."
Youtube has informed us that once videos are uploaded they use tags and titles to make related videos. However, most of the related videos never change because viewers are sufficiently irritated by them that they click then hit "dislike", assuming this will "bury" the bad videos - in line with most modern internet trends, where viewer's negative votes actually affect something.
Astonishingly, doing this actually moves them up the rankings - it makes them a legitimate related video and the quantity of dislikes on a video doesn't affect anything at all.
Moral: Don't click these videos. If you must, dislike them and flag them as spam. This is what Youtube have asked us to pass along to you guys as action to be taken for all reply girls.
User suggested resolutions Youtube could implement:
Remove videos from the related links that have a 75% or more dislikes.
This is not designed to remove the content from YouTube entirely, but to prevent things that the community feels is not worthy of showing up in relation to a particular video. This would help to cut down on frustrated members having to see breasts shoved into their faces constantly by the related video bar. Some of the community watchers are underage, and to have blatantly sexual content bombarded at them is inappropriate.
Allow registered users to block content from an entire channel to prevent it from appearing within the related videos section.
This would cut down on the spam considerably. If people hate these channels so much, then they shouldn't have to be force subjected to them. Merely visiting these channels and down-voting them also skews the statistics and carries them further up into the related videos where they are not desired. If we cut it off at the source by not visiting them and blocking the channels personally, we will be able to see a rise in the real valued content on YouTube, and the users (your customers) will have an overall more enjoyable experience. Likewise, you won't face a poor public reputation when you fail to deal appropriately with these issues.
Allow the hiding of video tags to prevent them from being copied and spammed into reply videos.
Tags allow users to search for content related to a particular topic and also function to bring up related videos where users have added their own similar tags for similar content. Tags shouldn't be able to be copied en masse in order to make use of loopholes in the YouTube system to get views on content unrelated to the currently viewed content. As pointed out, this is "untargeted," and "unwanted."
The community is not asking for the removal of these "Reply Girl" accounts, nor are we asking for banning. We are asking for a set of tools for users to filter the content they desire to view, thus making the overall YouTube experience better for them and the artists who create original content. This is not only beneficial to your users, but as well as your bottom line as it encourages growth, new content, and innovation among the YouTube communities.
Examples of Reply Girls:
I should note that some reply girls have now stayed away from our channel and aren't replying to our videos any more - however, this problem is not just ours - it's the community's as well, so this list is of reply channels that reply to anything they can possibly get their hands on.