Spam Protection/Blacklisting on YouTube

I’m using Nightbot for spam protection on YouTube–Mainly I use it for blocking certain phrases using regex (basically patterns that are dodging the link filter). This does appear to work, as some spam bots will send messages 2-3 times in a row and after the second or third offense, the timeouts will be made as permanent bans.

I thought I had read somewhere that Nightbot actually issues timeouts first and then permanently ban on later offenses, but I can no longer find this statement. But from what I can tell, only timeouts are being issued and not bans.

Which comes to the problem I am now having. It seems that spam bots are no longer sending 2-3 messages in a row and are instead staggering/trickling them out. This results in their bots never being permanently banned and instead just being timed out every few minutes.

Looking through the control panel, I don’t see any options to make the spam protection/filter just outright ban these accounts. I would prefer it if Nightbot just banned rather than timing out since my filters are very specific and it makes no sense to hand out timeouts for the things triggering the filter. Am I missing this configuration option somewhere or is this something that can’t be changed with Nightbot?

Hey @MichaelN!

I’m not sure where you got the information that Nightbot used to ban repeating offenders, but that never was the case.

The dev intentionally left out the ban command/option to prevent abuse, it was never coded into the bot, the most it could ever do was time out users.

The idea behind spam protection is that a human needs to be behind to take more definitive actions, because a computer can get things wrong; a human still can, but they can understand context better.

As much as I love bots (or AI), I’d never trust a computer to take such actions alone, a human always has to be involved in the loop, the dev has the same mindset.

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Ah okay, understood. I guess I had read incorrectly or I may have been looking at a different bot at the time when I read about how their timeouts/bans are handed out.

Personally, I find this reasoning to not really solve the current issues that YouTube channels are facing today. That’s because some spam/phrases should just outright be banned immediately so moderators/the channel owner can focus on moderating other things. If the offender is actually human, they can go through an appeal process instead that is outside of the stream. In fact, it’s actually worse that someone gets timed out by accident on YouTube because a timeout cannot be undone (it must expire over time) while a moderator can undo a ban when they see the ban on YouTube in chat.

If this is an obvious word or phrase or deliberate obfuscation of a link (to which there are clear patterns for when it comes to bots), with an exact regular expression, there is no need for human review for something that is clearly targeted by that regular expression. In other words, it’s by design. This isn’t AI where there is a black box deciding something. I only use the blacklist for this purpose and all of the bots get hit by it, never a human. I would like those bots to get banned instead of timed out so my mods can think about other things are my thoughts behind this.

Specifically, I’d prefer not to have to move away from nightbot because I’m familiar with it and it has been reliable in joining my chat when streams start. But it seems that there may be alternatives (such as streamlabs and streamelements) that do tiered filtering/blocking of phrases to timeout certain things and ban others, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable for nightbot to have it as an option if possible.

But I also understand why you or the dev have the idea that a human must always be involved in that process still.

I mean, I understand your frustration, spam is quite intense on YouTube from what I’ve heard, but imo it’s something YouTube has to fix, rather than having third-party bots put a bandage on it.

I wasn’t aware of this subtlety, this is just bad design on YouTube’s side…

I disagree, regular expressions are tricky to get right, and therefore can match wrong.
I say that, and yet I love RegExp.

Then maybe you can use those alternatives just to deal with those spam bots?
You don’t have to entirely give up on Nightbot, you can use multiple bots at once if one of them doesn’t fit your needs on a specific feature.

Well, the issue is always that you can have a mod that goes rogue and decides to automate bans with the bot so they don’t have to do it themselves.

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