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Why Does YouTube Delete Comments?

Perhaps this has happened to you. You’ve commented on a video. Later, you go back to see if there are any replies and notice that your comment is no longer there. What happened? This can be a frustrating situation, so we are here to break down the situation in an attempt to explain why and how comments can be deleted from videos.

Was my comment deleted?

This may seem like an odd question to ask. After all, if you can’t see your comment that means it was deleted, right? Not necessarily. Some channels implement temporary holds on comments. This can happen in two different ways. First, a channel may have all comments held for review. This means they are not shown until the creator views and approves them. However, other channels may hold contents that contain specific words. If your comment included one of these words, even in a context that is perfectly fine, it would still get held for review. In this video, a creator discusses this process and how he approaches it.

Who deleted my comment?

This is the next important question to ask. If your comment was actually deleted, you may be tempted to assume that YouTube deleted it. This is certainly possible but not necessarily true. Your comment may have been deleted by YouTube, but it may also have been deleted by the creator of the video.

Creators have the ability to delete any comment on their videos. They can also restrict specific users from posting comments. If a comment was deleted by a creator, it may be difficult to understand the reason as different creators will have different standards for how they respond to comments.

Why did YouTube delete my comment?

Now, we have arrived back at our original question. Understanding why YouTube deletes comments is a fairly easy question to answer as YouTube has transparent guidelines for conduct on their platform. YouTube’s Community Guidelines provides a fairly thorough description of what they do not allow on their platform. Let’s summarize the different things that may get a comment deleted.

Spam

This is one of the most maligned issues of the internet and YouTube strives to remove spam from its community. This means your comments may be removed if you are posting the same comments in different channels, many people have reported your comments as spam, or you are posting many comments without viewing the video.

Hate Speech

Like many platforms, YouTube has increasingly taken efforts to remove hate speech from their platform. Hate speech is essentially defined as any type of comment that can be viewed as inciting violence or hate against a particular community of people. If your comment falls into this category, even if that was not the intent behind the comment, that may be the reason why it was deleted.

Overly Sexual Comments

This is a fairly easy one to understand. YouTube has a strict policy against nudity and sexual content, which also applies to sexual content in the form of comments.

Suicide

This one is a bit more nuanced as YouTube wants to ensure that users are not afraid to speak openly about mental health topics. However, YouTube will remove comments that are deemed to be glorifying of self-harm or instructive of how to do so.

Child Endangerment

This recently got a bit of attention as YouTube completely removed commenting on videos from child creators in order to roll out a stronger auditing program. Now, these specific videos have comments but require creators to heavily moderate them for inappropriate content. Comments seen as predatory or sexual in nature are removed.

False Positives

Algorithms are not always perfect and there can be situations where a comment is accidentally identified as violating standards. Consider someone commenting about a “Russian pig,” which is a specific species of animal. An algorithm may interpret that as a hateful remark against someone who is Russian and remove it.

There are other reasons that YouTube may remove comments. To thoroughly understand the reasons, visit the YouTube Community Guidelines. Essentially, YouTube deletes comments in order to protect the safety of the YouTube community and also to abide by various laws. The goal is not to silence your speech but rather create a community safe for all users to engage in.

Summary

If your comment is not appearing on a video, it may be temporarily being held for review. Comments can be deleted by creators, who have wide authority over comments that appear on their videos. If a comment was deleted by YouTube rather than the creator, it was likely deleted for violating one of the platform’s guidelines. Reviewing the Community Guidelines can help users learn what may be considered an inappropriate comment for the platform.

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Author

  • Mike has over a decade of experience in higher education as a researcher, administrator, and faculty member. He currently teaches leadership and communication. He possesses a doctorate from the University of Arkansas in organizational leadership, masters from Grand Valley State in education, and bachelors from Southeastern Louisiana University in behavioral sciences. His writing interests include politics, travel, and social issues.

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