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Likes/Dislikes YouTube BUG also removing subscribers ?

Apparently it does!

Since my last upload, like many channels around the globe, I noticed that my likes and dislikes where rolling back, and on a simple refresh, they would disappear. Interestingly, even though Likes and Dislikes (alike 🙂 ) were ‘disappearing’ from newly uploaded videos, YouTube analytics kept the correct amount stored deep inside its guts. Here is a good Example : On my latest video (watch it by the way) GIGABYTE RADEON RX 6700 XT 12 G, YouTube reports 51 likes and 1 dislike. But if I go look at the video engagement Analytics, I can see that I received more than twice the engagement and in fact my video did gather 111 likes and 3 dislikes. I did not worry too much since I knew YouTube had deployed a new Like/Dislike feature on several channels and would eventually be fixed, if indeed it was the cause of that bug.

And to be fair YouTube as acknowledge the said Bug, and has started to work on it (apparently).

YouTube Message
YouTube Message

BUT! As I was refreshing my page and watching in despair my Likes rolling back in time, I also noticed that my subscriber count was decreasing. And by a lot! I am well aware that people may unsub, close their account, etc… but all these are clearly tracked by YT analytics. If someone decided to unsubscribe from your channel, you can see where and when he/she did so and when. If an account has been closed, Analytics also keeps track of it. But there is another reason for loss subscribers referred as “Other” by YT analytics, and it really doesn’t say much, other that “we did it” (YouTube).

YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics, Unsubscribing reasons

Strange indeed, especially knowing that I never purchased any subscribers from any website or used bots of any kind. My channel is rather small, reaching 25k subs, not exactly a mammoth, but I can proudly say that it is 100% organically grown. Neither pesticides nor fertilizers used! Digging into my analytics a little deeper, took a look at my “lost subscription” graph, and that is the moment when I understood this could be in fact part of the same “Like/Dislike bug” . Since the 6th of April (2021), YouTube algorithm (or whatever automated script they are using) is removing subscribers from my account in mass. I have had this account running and building for 5 years and a half, and never did I see something like this. Here for some context :

90 DAYS loss subscription chart
90 DAYS loss subscription chart
See that green line ? This is the “Other” category which removed my subs.
Channel life time loss subscription chart (since August 2016)
Channel life time loss subscription chart (since August 2016)
  Here you can clearly see the spike in sub loss. I have brought this up to YouTube obviously, but they seem to acknowledge only the Like/Dislike part of the problem. A Google search will quickly show that I am not the only one affected by this, and indeed, Subs are also heavily affected. This past week alone, I have lost about 110 subs for no reasons other than…. well “other”.


I think I might have figured it out.

LIKES and DISLIKES disappearing is just the symptom of a deeper problem. It is not the problem in itself.
Actually, we are losing subscribers. The “BUG” can be seen in action in your analytics.
Go to : ANALYTICS > ADVANCED >SUBSCRBTION SOURCE and set the Filter to SUBSCRIBERS LOST. You will see an increase of removed subscribers by the Line ‘OTHER’ since the 5th of April.
‘Other’ : Meaning that this is not someone un-subscribing or having its account closed, but the YT automated script who is removing these subs (most likely).
With them being removed, their likes and dislikes are being removed as well.
Simply said I believe YouTube dev team has changed the criteria’s on how to identify spams or bots, and accidently is removing real users as-well-as their actions.
It does make sense since, when YT finds Bots and Spam, not only do they close them, but their actions (comments, Likes) are also removed with them (IMHO).
I have been in contact with several mid to larger channels. We looked at their SUBSCRIBER LOST and they ALL went through the same problem (and still are).
What triggers it? Your latest upload possibly. The script might be triggered after an upload, which also explains why people got different results through out the week. I hope this helps.
I think this explains fairly well, why all our metrics have been so hectic, both in watched times, views, likes and obviously subscription levels.


The never aging alpha geek is still here! Don't you dare question me!

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One Comment

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I am having this exact problem, ever since around April time. Even now, likes are being removed by around 10 – 15 each video. I am just about to check this line graph in my analytics too.

    I have been emailing YouTube themselves repeatedly for months but I have never received an acceptable explanation. yours seems to do it well. I will explain what you are saying to them and see what they say if that’s ok :)))

    Thank you very much for this post,

    Avid Beats

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