In this video, we'll show you everything you can do with comments.
The comments section is one of the features that makes YouTube so unique. There, you can get direct feedback from your viewers, answer their questions, and overall create a community and conversation around your videos.
Of course, some comments are lovely, and some… are not. The good news is, there are a ton of features available that help you highlight or moderate your comments. In this video, we’re gonna cover two main topics: first, what features you can use to help you encourage more of the conversation you want, and second, what features you can use to address hurtful or inappropriate interactions in your comments section.
“Promoting Quality Comments”
First, let’s dive into some ways you can encourage more of the conversation you want to see in your comments.
An easy and lightweight way you can interact is by using the heart icon. When you “heart” a comment to show your appreciation, viewers will see your avatar with a small red heart, and may receive a notification that you loved what they wrote. This is a quick and effective way to build fan loyalty, and show that you appreciate their thoughts.
You can also pin comments to the top of the feed, which lets you highlight what comment your fans see first when watching your video. You can either pin your own comment, or a fan comment. Pinning your own comment is a great way to:
- Clarify something from your video
- Ask your audience a specific question
- Tease a specific moment or easter egg
- Or just thank your viewers for watching
- Or, you can pin a fan comment that stood out to you. Maybe they asked an interesting question you think others might want to know, or they said something really funny or encouraging. Either way, this is a great feature to set the tone for the rest of the community and keep the conversation going with your viewers.
And of course, you can also reply to comments. It might sound obvious, but simply being positive with your own comments is a great way to keep things friendly. When you jump in, it shows your audience that you’re listening and interested in what they have to say. This can help make them feel loved, and may encourage others to write positive things. Of course, not all viewers will love every video you post -- so also think about responding to comments that give you constructive criticism. It’s not always easy to hear, but nice to show them that you listen to their feedback.
There are also now comment filters in YouTube Studio, which is a tool to help you prioritize your time in managing your comments. With filters, you can find comments that contain questions, or search for specific keywords; you can filter by subscriber status and channel member status; by how many subscribers the commenter has; and even by your response status, to only see comments you have or haven’t responded to. We hope these will especially help for those who have huge audiences and lots of comments to sift through.
Most importantly, make sure you prioritize your mental health first and foremost when thinking about which comments you respond to and how often you do so.
How to handle Hurtful or Inappropriate Comments
Now let’s talk about how to handle hurtful or inappropriate comments.
As you likely know by now, not all comments will be high quality. Using a combination of people and technology, we remove hundreds of millions of comments that violate our Community Guidelines. YouTube’s priority is to make sure that comments provide a safe experience for all users, including protecting creators from harmful comments. We recognize how incredibly important it is for you to help shape the conversation with your community, and for you to maintain your own well-being. So because of this, we’ve created tools that can help.
If someone has written something inappropriate in your comments, you can
Remove the comment and all of its replies.
To do so, you can go to your YouTube Studio “Comments” tab and click the these three dots, and select “Remove”. You can also do this from your video’s watch page on either desktop or mobile.
Hide the user from your channel.
Doing this blocks a specific user from posting comments on any of your videos. Users are not alerted when you block them. These viewers can still comment on your videos and channel, but their comments will be hidden from public view. You can block a user from commenting by selecting the three dot menu from one of their comments, or in YouTube Studio in your Community Settings.
Flag the comment to YouTube.
Flagging comments helps YouTube protect the rest of the community from bad actors. If the comment violates YouTube Community Guidelines, it will be removed.
Now that you know what you can do to address individual comments, here are some things you can do at a channel level
Set upload defaults.
From your YouTube Settings, go to the Community settings, then “Defaults”. From here, you can choose to: Allow all comments; Hold potentially inappropriate comments for review; Hold all comments for review; or Disable comments. If you choose to hold comments, they won’t appear publicly until you’ve reviewed them. The setting you choose here will apply to comments on all of your new videos. Keep in mind you can also select these defaults on an individual video basis in the “Advanced” tab. If you want to update the settings for your older videos, you can do so in bulk by going to your Videos tab in YouTube Studio, selecting the videos you want, then clicking “Edit” and “Comments”.
Hold potentially inappropriate comments for review
Some creators have told us that they don’t review comments on their “held for review” tab at all, in order to reduce exposure to potentially harmful comments. Leaving comments in the tab does not impact your ability to be recommended. So be sure to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to reviewing and interacting with comments.
Create a blocked words list.
Sometimes people may use words or phrases that you don’t want associated with your channel. In your channel Settings, go to “Community” where you’ll see a section for “Blocked words”. Here, you can add words or phrases that you don’t want to appear in your comments section. When someone tries to comment using these blocked words, they won’t appear publicly and will be held for your review. (show screenshot of “You have comments awaiting your review” on the video page)
Add comment moderators.
Trusted community members can be added as comment moderators to your channel, so they can flag comments on your videos for removal. Comments they moderate are removed from the public comments section, and can be found in your “Held for Review” queue as "Flagged by moderator" until you approve or remove them. You can add a moderator in your channel Settings under “Community”, or from the “Comments” tab in YouTube Studio.
Remember, if you’re feeling constantly overwhelmed by your comments and these tools aren’t working for you, you can choose to hold all comments for review or turn off comments completely by selecting these settings in your Community defaults. Keep in mind doing this will only affect new videos you post after turning on this setting. If you want to apply this setting to all of your older videos, you can do so in bulk by going to your Videos tab in YouTube Studio, selecting the videos you want, then clicking “Edit” and “Comments”.
We hope these Comments features will help you engage and moderate your YouTube Community! If you have ideas on how we can improve these tools for creators, you can leave suggestions in the comments down below. And be sure to subscribe for more creator tips and tricks, every week. Bye!