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A roll back destroys Spanish subs and messes up most other subs for PSY's Gangnam Style video

What happened

Yesterday, javipino (profile archived in edited the Spanish subtitles for the PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V  video, creating revision 2.

Four hours later, Richard Gresswell checked javapino's new version and as it was vulgar, attempted to revert to the former revision 1 by Carlos Solis.

Effects on the Spanish subtitles

(see the history of revisions  of the Spanish subtitles and attached Gangmam_SP_rev.jpg screenshot)

  1. The Amara software removed the Spanish subtitles from the list of subtitles on the left of the PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V  page and of its subpages, though the Spanish subtitles track itself was not deleted.
  2. Instead of a revert to Carlos Solis' revision 1, the Amara software created "Revision 3  by Retired user - Uploaded" (archived in - see also attached PSY_-_GANGNAM_STYLE_강남스타일 In the  about this issue, Richard Gresswell confirmed that this Revision 3 is identical to what Revision 2 by javipino was before he attempted the roll back.
  3. The Amara software created a "Revision 4   by Richard Gresswell - rollback to version #1", with only title and description (no subtitles)
  4. The Amara software also deleted all subtitles from Carlos Solis' Revision 0  and Revision 1, leaving only title and description.

Effects on the other subtitles

(see the Activities  page for the video, and attached dated Gangnam_activity.jpg screenshot)

The Korean  and Chinese, Traditional  subtitles were not affected. However, besides what the Amara software did to the Spanish subs,  for all other subs - English, British, Esperanto, Spanish, Persian, Finnish, French, Ido, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese) the Amara software:

  1. added a new revision "by Retired user - Uploaded"
  2. deleted the subtitles from all former revisions, leaving only title and description.

Possibly related issues

There are two threads on this help forum about possibly related issues:

  1. In Can't add a new translation, see my exchange with Darren Bridenbeck about deleted subtitles in former revisions of Tagalog subs for a video by Beyoncé (between  Aug 13 and Aug 17, 2012)
  2. If 2 original subs are merged, the translation of the second disappears - and former revisions of the translated subs are destroyed , where Jules Rincón wrote on Nov. 5, 2012: "... uploads and rollbacks  made to the transcript can fork or completely destroy the  translations.

However, what now happened with the subtitles for the Gangnam Style video seems far more severe, as it also affected the history of revisions of subtitles that were NOT translated from the ones where the rollback was attempted.

What I expected

I expected that when Richard Gresswell attempted to roll back to revision 1 of the Spanish subtitles, the Amara software would do just that (i.e. without totally mucking up these Spanish subtitles and mucking up the former revisions of 10 other sets of subtitles).

What I wish the Amara Developers to do

  1. If there is a backup of the PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V  page and of its subpages made just prior to javapino's editing, could Amara developers please restore this backup?
  2. Could Amara developers put top priority on remedying the issues described in this thread, and in the threads mentioned under "Possibly related issues"? Too much work by too many people are now at risk.
  3. Until these issues are remedied, could Amara developers block users' actions that could trigger them, with an explanatory pop-up message, and also send all Amara users a message about these issues, suggesting that they download all subtitles they have participated in, as they might be likewise destroyed?

On vandalism

javapino's vandalizing of the Spanish subs for the Gangnam Style video  is the first occurrence of deliberate vandalism I've seen since I joined Universal Subtitles (now Amara) on Nov. 17, 2010, and I've been using the platform quite a bit. True, the Gangnam Style video, with over 1,025,010,130 views as I write this, is a tempting target for vandals.

However, I fear that the new possibility to have Amara subtitles directly published on YouTube originals, offered in users' Account  subpage under "Sync subtitles", might incite more vandalism too, though fortunately, there was no such automatic YT publication for the Gangnam Style video.

But take Jules Rincón's  Lionesses Chowtime  YouTube video, of which she used a screenshot to illustrate the credit in the subtitles and the link to the  in the description produced by this sync'ing in the Syncing to YouTube tutorial. Darren Bridenbeck's Amara French subtitles, which were automatically transfered to the YouTube video, are an avowed and good-humored "fake translation".

Yet what if some people chose to avail themselves of the link to the Amara page in the description to make rude fake translations that would appear on YT? Unless Jules were watching all subtitles for the Amara version like a hawk 24/7, some such potential rude translations might well appear in the YouTube version until she detects them.

(there are other problematic aspects in this "sync to YouTube" feature, but I'll describe them in another post - update: see Misgivings about and dabbling with the "Sync subtitles" feature (Account page)).


1 person has this problem

Update: I now got the following Amara notifications:

"Great news! Maggie S has just started a Spanish translation of your video PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V"

(Dec 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM [CET])


"Spanish subtitles to video PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V were changed by Maggie S. These changes went live immediately. 0% of the timing was changed. "

(Tue, Dec 25, 2012 at 12:16 AM [CET]: about restoring the Spanish description)

Thanks, Maggie, but how come your interventions don't show in the revisions???


Revisions 3 and 4 of the Spanish subs have now been removed and Carlos Solis' subtitles (revision 2) show again. Thanks.  However, such interventions should leave a trace in the history of revisions, not be done "ex machina".

And please really fix the cause of the issue, A reliable history of revisions, where you can roll back a subtitle set without risking to destroy it and other ones  is indispensable for collaborative work.

But the main thing, for the time being, is that Carlos Solis' subtitles are back. Thanks again and merry Christmas!

 UpUpdate: Now I got it: you deleted all revisions of the Spanish subs, then reuploaded Carlo Solis' revisions 0 and 1 which must still have been floating around somewhere on the server, but attributing them to him. Hence their new URLs and dates, and  hence

"Maggie S edited Spanish subtitles for PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V 1 day ago"


"Maggie S started Spanish subtitles for PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V 1 day ago" in the Activity  subpage for the whole video.

So if subtitle revisions that apparently get emptied by the above-described glitch are actually still somewhere on the server, then until you fix that glitch, could we please have a new sticky thread in this help forum, entitled "Reply here to request the restoration of subtitle tracks that got emptied after a roll back or an upload" (kind of symmetrical to the existing "STICKY Reply here to request to Delete a video or Remove subtitles" thread)?

Thanks in advance,


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