Random letters and numbers in comments on YouTube videos.
August 5, 2013 4:20 PM   Subscribe

I have a Youtube video that gets comments like these that consist of random numbers and punctuation marks that I don't understand. Why do viewers post these? I sometimes get foreign languages that I can search on Google to get the translation but this is confusing.
posted by BillyAnne to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Sometimes someone posts a comment in a language that you don't have a font for, and then it gets interpreted wrong as latin characters.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:34 PM on August 5, 2013

Arabic typed in a combination letters and numbers (Arabish, Araby, Arabic chat alphabet) is really common on YouTube. (The numbers are used for Arabic letters that don't have close phonetic equivalents in the Latin alphabet, based a vague resemblance in the shape of the number and the letter.) So that's probably some of what you're seeing.

Similar rough transcription systems exist for other languages that use non-Latin scripts. The ones for South Asian languages usually involve mixing capital and lower-case letters, but no numbers.

I agree with Chocolate Pickle, though, that the examples you linked to look like encoding errors (a.k.a. mojibake). It's probably not a matter of the fonts you have installed though, otherwise you'd just get boxes. The person who posted "GgvhhÄxX SL.. ..." is probably trying to compose and post comments on YouTube using a non-Unicode character-encoding system that Google doesn't recognize and can't interpret and translate into recognizable characters.
posted by nangar at 7:53 PM on August 5, 2013

Thanks for the answer to my question. I thought it was viewers of my Youtube channel that commented gibberish as a joke.
posted by BillyAnne at 3:00 AM on August 6, 2013

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