A number of YouTube channels are experiencing huge subscriber count losses, as the result of a glitch that occurred Wednesday afternoon.
The glitch was first reported by YouTube user BlackScreenTV, who theorized that it was caused by a counting error when subscribing and un-subscribing. We conducted our own tests, and found his theory to be correct.
Here’s an example: You find a channel that has 1,000 subscribers. If you subscribe, their count would be increased to 1,001 – normal, intended behavior. When you immediately unsubscribe, however, their count decreases by two, dropping to 999. The ending result is a net gain of -1 subscribers, as opposed to 0.
The glitch caused many top channels to seemingly lose thousands of subscribers on Wednesday afternoon, with several channels dropping into the negatives.