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YouTube is one of the most globally utilised online content sharing sites, enabling new commercial enterprise, education opportunities and facilities for vernacular creativity (Burgess, 2006). Its user engagement demonstrates significant capacity to develop online communities, alongside its arguably more popular use as a distribution platform to monetise one’s branded self (Senft, 2013). However, as a subset of Alphabet Incorporated, its access is often restricted by governments of Asian Pacific countries who disagree with the ideology of the business. Despite this, online communities thrive in these countries, bringing into question the sorts of augmentations used by its participants. This article reframes the discussion beyond restrictive regulation to focus on the DIY approach (augmentation) of community building through the use of hidden infrastructures (algorithms). This comparative study of key YouTube channels in several Asia Pacific countries highlights the sorts of techniques that bypass limiting infrastructures to boost online community engagement and growth. Lastly, this article reframes the significance of digital intermediation to highlight the opportunities key agents contribute to strengthening social imaginaries within the Asia Pacific region.