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Why do I have 9 subscribers when I don't upload videos? What are they seeing of mine, exactly? 3 Recommended Answers 96 Replies 877 Upvotes
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Last edited 2/18/19
I'm fairly new to social media, and so far, I'm just a Viewer, watching and commenting on some YouTube videos and making Vevo music video playlists.  I'm finally digging through all my account details, and I was very surprised to find I have 9 subscribers, even though I've never uploaded anything!  Why did these people subscribe, and what of mine are they seeing, exactly?

<<<<<Edit Insert:  OK, I found View Channel, and I think I might have answered my own question, so I'd just like confirmation that I'm right, or correction if I'm wrong.  The only thing not set to "Only you can view" is my Liked videos, so that's all these subscribers are seeing, right?  I don't mind sharing that.  And the reason they would want to know what videos I like is if they have similar tastes in videos, so that they can check out a video I like if it looks interesting to them, yes?>>>>>

I'm following instructions to check that my own subscriptions are private, which they should already be by default.  Depending on what these subscribers of mine are seeing, I might need some help setting more details to private.  I already searched Help and couldn't find the answer to my question.  Thank you.
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Thank you so much, JDoors!   I just learned that an unknown local phone logged back into my Google Account, AFTER I already signed out all devices, removed it from my devices, changed my Google password and PIN, and went through the whole Google Security checkup list.   As far as I know, there has been no actual identity theft yet, but I’m feeling rather freaked out.  This time, I’m doing a much more thorough job, changing all the passwords my Google Account had for Autofill (after doing the above steps again), checking out all the privacy and security settings for all these accounts and apps, and such.   I’m new at this, so I thought I had done everything the first time, but there is so much more I found to do this time around.

I wasn’t clear on what info these subscribers could see about me, but after looking at all the YouTube menu items, subsections, and details, I feel I now have a pretty good grasp of how my YouTube account works.  Because I never uploaded anything, I hadn’t thought I even had a “channel” that people could subscribe to; I had thought it was something I would have to create if I wanted it, not an automatic part of my account.  But it doesn’t look like my YouTube account created any ID theft danger.  At this point, I don’t care about reach, so I prefer most of my stuff to be private.

I checked out your two links.  Thank you!   I learned that there’s a third notifications icon, a ringing bell that means you’ve chosen to get all notifications, instead of occasional highlights (just the bell), or no notices (crossed-out bell), if I understand correctly.  The second link was one I already saw while working through my settings.

So, maybe some people subscribe like crazy to lots of other channels to affect that channel quality metric you mentioned, which perhaps somehow makes them more money with banner ads or something.   I suppose the implication is that they’re in the thick of things, well-connected, bringing in traffic from channels they’re subscribed to, and sending traffic to those channels, too.  So, it’s a way of cheating, of lying with statistics, just as how some people increase their Twitter followers total with bots and dummy accounts, in order to make more money through being an “influencer,” right?   So these subscribers probably subscribed to me and then never paid any attention to my account/channel again.   That makes sense to me.

Could it possibly be, though, that someone liked a comment of mine on a YouTube video, and clicked on my username, then Subscribe, perhaps assuming I would upload videos that they might also like?   I’m wondering how else these subscribers would have even found my name in order to subscribe to me.   Also, if they subscribe to me and choose all notifications, would they get notices of all my comments on various YouTube videos, as well as seeing when I “Like” a video?  I’m still unclear on that.

Thanks for helping put my mind at ease, JDoors.  I still have some more passwords to change and credit reports to flag and order, but I think I’ll be okay.   It’s possible the stranger accessing my account wasn’t even malicious.  But I want to do everything I can to be safe.
Last edited 2/22/19
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Last edited 2/19/19
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Yeah, I don't have any additional information or suggestions on how mystery subscribers work. Certainly possible they saw your channel name somewhere and tracked it back in order to subscribe for … whatever reason. If there is some malicious (cheating) reason to subscribe to random channels there's likely to be some way to just "grab" names from YouTube data, so it could have been entirely at random.

Sorry to hear you needed to worry about your Google Account security. That can be a nightmare.
Last edited 2/26/19
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3 days
I need likes and subscribers views a lot
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