Typing "." Into YouTube / Full Stop Punctuation
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Typing "." Into YouTube, also known as Don't Search "." On YouTube, refers to a quirk of YouTube that typing one or more periods, AKA full stop mark, into YouTube's search bar will cause the bar to autofill with strange suggestions, some of which can bring users to creepy and, supposedly, illegal and disturbing videos with a seemingly random assortment of symbols as their titles. It is believed these videos are uploaded with these titles in order to bypass the YouTube moderation algorithm that would otherwise catch illegal or copyrighted content. Some YouTubers have also uploaded shitposts to the site with the title "Full Stop Punctuation" so that they appear when a user specifically searches "." The trend became a social game or challenge online around 2020 and 2021, similar to Don't Google memes.
Typing "." into the YouTube search bar and hitting search will lead users to a seemingly random assortment of videos. This appears to have been referenced by YouTubers uploading shitposts onto the platform with the title "Full Stop Punctuation." For example, on August 10th, 2017, YouTuber Coouge posted a nonsensical Frozen parody that gained over 6.4 million views in four years (shown below).
While it seems videos with strange characters as their titles have been uploaded to YouTube for years, posts about "typing '.' into YouTube" began appearing on Reddit in roughly 2019. On March 1st, 2019, Redditor reeveomega posted that they had discovered a bunch of Elsagate-style videos by following a suggested search after typing "." into the search bar.
The phenomenon of typing "." into YouTube began growing more well-known in 2020 and 2021. On January 28th, 2020, SomeOrdinaryGamers posted a video in which he explored the search results of typing a period into YouTube, gaining over 1.2 million views in roughly two years (shown below, left). On May 10th, 2020, Redditor DontAskWhoBenIs posted to /r/ElsaGate their discovery of what is found by typing the period mark, showing several videos with Arabic titles that translate to "woman pretends to be the Virgin Mary." There, commenters explained that the majority of such videos are nonsensical memes given clickbait thumbnails to rack up easy views (shown below, right).
In 2021, several YouTubers made videos investigating the phenomenon. On August 23rd, YouTuber Mr Ferrante posted a video on the phenomenon, claiming he saw videos so disturbing he wouldn't dare mention them in his video. Specifically, videos with a title akin to "…ø·ø ̈ùšù„ø© … ø£øoù†ùšø© ù„ù„ø£ø·ù ø§ù„ … ù„ùšø ̈ùšø§" had the most disturbing content. His video racked up over 1.1 million views in three months (shown below, left). On October 31st, YouTuber YourEveryDayTheorist posted about the search, explaining that most of the videos brought up by the search were well-known creepy viral videos or shitposts, gaining over 310,000 views in roughly two weeks (shown below, right).
On November 15th, 2021, Redditor PizzaW0lf posted a query about the creepy videos and action of searching "." on /r/OutOfTheLoop.
 Reddit – /r/Elsagate
 Reddit – /r/Elsagate
 Reddit – /r/OutOfTheLoop
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Nov 17, 2021 at 09:20PM EST
Jon the Wizard
Nov 17, 2021 at 08:54PM EST
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