For any of the many who follow a massive YouTuber, whether it’s because of their entertaining way of delivering content or their impressive athletic feats captured on camera, there are a lot of personalities across fandoms that govern millions of views. These personalities have been elevated to idol-like statuses in their respective fanbases, which can, unfortunately, make viewers lower their guard. As such, scammers impersonating popular personalities on YouTube is starting to become a problem, and The Professor from Tolarian Community College is being overrun. The goal of this article is to raise awareness of those in the MTG community who this YouTube scam may target.
The Professor’s Battle With YouTube Scammers
While The Professor from the Tolarian Community College generally focuses on review-based content regarding Magic: the Gathering, he was recently forced to make an exception. His viewers have been targeted relentlessly by bots trying to impersonate the YouTuber and scam them out of their money.
Unfortunately, this problem isn’t as simple as reporting a scam account or taking down a few comments. These bots, according to the YouTuber, are too much for one person to handle:
“Try as I might, I cannot stop these spam bots on YouTube. I report and ban accounts, but they create new ones and post thousands of these within seconds. I block words, they post again using other ones. I don’t have the tools to combat this. They are swindling people in my name.”The Professor
His video elaborates on these points, pleading YouTube for additional assistance. It doesn’t matter what steps he takes to try and stop these bots; one person cannot combat an entire program.
It’s Not Just MTG
Unfortunately, it’s not just the MTG community being impacted by these bots. Team APS, a Yu-Gi-Oh! content creator who has done collaborations with The Professor has also had problems with these YouTube scam bots.
These seem to be everywhere. No matter what genre you look into, these bots asking for messages on various platforms are plaguing YouTube commenters with an ‘opportunity’ to win a prize from their idols.
Fortunately, YouTuber and MTG personality CovertGoBlue reportedly has a way to help combat these bots.
“My mod built a bot to remove them, I am sure he would work with you too, reach out if interested. I do hope YouTube fixes it”
Notably, this could be an example of one of many bot programs that creators are making to try and combat the comment menace. The Professor has stated that he has tried some of these, but none were the fix that his channel needs.
That said, many would argue that it’s not on the content creators to fix this anyway. As The Professor points out on social media and in his YouTube video addressing the issue, it’s on YouTube to improve this exploitable aspect of the platform:
“Your platform is riddled with these scams and something needs to be done. You need to prioritize fixing this. The onus is on YouTube.”
Fortunately, YouTube has responded to The Professor’s Tweet regarding the video and is aware of this issue. Unfortunately, even the responses to that comment tell a complicated story.
This YouTube Scam Has Been Going On For Years
It did not take long for PSAs to appear on Reddit, warning players of the bad actors impersonating Tolarian Community College. Of the responses to this development are a handful of comments that all mention the same thing:
“This has been an issue for years and YouTube hasn’t done a single thing to even show they’re interested in stopping it.
Much larger YouTubers such as jacksepticeye and Markiplier have made huge complaints about this and YouTube did the same thing they did to Prof and just asked “how do we fix this?” It’s your site. Figure it the f*ck out.”BlairTheWiseViking
“This has been going on for a while. Even adding tools to the backend that allow content creators to shadowban certain comments like ones containing the word ‘telegram’ would be a nice bandaid to throw at the situation. Not perfect, but the perfect should not be allowed to be the enemy of the good, or even just marginally better.
Anyone who’s played runescape or really any online game knows that bots are never going to go away, so every single tool that can combat them should be deployed proactively.”bondzplz
This song and dance have been played before with content creators with a larger audience than anyone in the MTG community. As such, while YouTube may be actively working on a fix to this, it may not be coming any time soon. As such, the best that many can do is to warn as many as possible who may be targeted.
What to Watch Out For
If like many other MTG players, you are a fan of the Professor, these scammers may target you. Fortunately, there are some pretty easy ways to identify whether or not the person contacting you is really from Tolarian Community College or not:
- The Professor will never ask for payment information
- He will never ask you to send money or DM him on an alternate messaging systems
- Watch for replies and responses from accounts with slightly misspelt names
If you know others who are a fan of the channel, be sure to let them know. Most people who spend a lot of time on the internet can figure out this stuff quickly, but, as previously identified here, the average MTG player is a bit older than many may expect. Long story short, be aware that this is happening, be sure to tell others who may be targeted, and stay safe.