YouTube has risen to be the primary video hosting site on the web. Beyond just a place to share content, creators are establishing whole careers entirely on the platform, making it one of the most successful social media providers in existence. But a question many content creators continue to ask themselves is why YouTube delete their YouTube comments.
YouTube is deleting your comments likely because it believes that you may have violated its Terms of Service. If your comment section is rife with spam, suspicious or dangerous content, that may also lead to YouTube deleting your comments.
In this article, I’ll explore the common reasons YouTube comments are deleted.
Why YouTube Delete Your Comments
You may have heard rumors everywhere about YouTube dictating which comments should be removed and which ones should stay. Some even go so far as to claim it’s a conspiracy. The truth is much more mundane.
Sometimes, the algorithm gets things wrong or misses actual violations entirely. Other times, users may have a vendetta and misuse the system to get what they want.
A common rumor is that YouTube censors comments, either to protect corporate sponsors or for political reasons. This conspiracy theory was sparked thanks to the Wild West feel of the original platform. Nearly anything could be said because the moderation system was very basic.
Ultimately, this can’t be proven, and no real evidence exists. The closest is a controversy where YouTube was accused of using two trigger words that were considered an insult to the Chinese Communist Party leading to auto-deleted comments. YouTube confirmed it and stated it was a short-lived glitch removed as soon as it came to light.
These days, YouTube has an algorithm that monitors both comments and content. Something as simple as cursing can be enough to get a video demonetized. The same can be true of comments, which are prone to both removals from auto flagging and users reporting it under site rule violations.
This can be a source of frustration for users, especially when the algorithm is wrong or something has been reported unfairly.
The most common, verified reasons YouTube deleted comments are related to:
- Terms of Service (TOS) violations
- Spam, scams, or misleading content
- Child safety risks
So, if YouTube deleted your comments, you may have violated any of the reasons mentioned above. The following sections will elaborate more on this.
You May Have Violated YouTube’s Terms of Service (TOS)
YouTube has extensive Terms of Service, which includes Community Guidelines. Those guidelines address how users are expected to interact with one another, encompassing comments. When you violate the TOS, you’re forfeiting your right to engage on the platform.
Content creators on the site have an obligation to monitor their comment section for any violations. If YouTube receives too many complaints about viewers on a channel, it’s possible that the channel itself could get into trouble. That leads most to be very diligent and hide and report any comments that go against the TOS.
Your Channel Has Too Many Spam, Scams, or Misleading Content
According to Statista, the most commonly cited reason for comment removal is the rather broad category of “Spam, Scams, and Misleading Content”. Making up 55.4% of all deleted comments, it can mean several things:
- Spam. If you’re commenting the same thing over and over again, it’ll likely be flagged for spam. It also might lead to a flag if you’re commenting on a lot of videos within minutes of one another, especially if you wouldn’t have had time to complete watching a video before posting a comment.
- Scams. These are a little clearer. If you’ve ever seen a comment claiming that they upped their views on their video overnight and offering a link, it’s a scam. Or, if someone tries to get you to click on a link at all, it’s probably a phishing attempt or a scam that tries to steal your banking details.
- Misleading content. This is the hardest to prove or disprove. It relates to misinformation left in comments, such as making a claim that can’t be backed up with evidence. This has become a much bigger issue since the COVID-19 pandemic, with many comments being deleted on both sides of the issue.
Your Channel or Comments May Pose Child Safety Risks
During the bizarre “Elsagate” scandal, child safety became an intense focus of YouTube’s comment and content policies. Their algorithm has since been set to flag anything that could be construed (rightly or wrongly) as a hazard for kids on the platform.
Users are encouraged to report anything, even borderline, for further moderation.
A Note On Done Dirty Deleting
It might not be YouTube deleting your comments at all. When you reply to a post, your reply becomes a part of that thread. Sometimes the original poster will “dirty delete,” removing a post that has become controversial to keep people from seeing what they had said.
When they remove their comment, every reply underneath also disappears.
Other Reasons YouTube Is Deleting Your Comments
All the reasons I’ve just discussed above are “official” reasons that have been verified. But some rumors may or may not be true. For example, some claim that specific words will “trigger” the automated removal process, such as slurs, though this hasn’t been proven.
Another rumor that turned out to be technically accurate was that YouTube had been removing any comments that were critical of China. This turned out to be true, though YouTube officials maintain that it was an accident and that the glitch in the algorithm has since been fixed.
In most cases, these rumors are misleading. The channel creators themselves may have deleted comments to avoid conflicts between viewers that can cause problems for their brand. Or the comment violated the TOS, and the original poster didn’t realize it.
While there’s a possibility other reasons exist for removals, there’s no evidence supporting them. The good news is that it makes finding the basis for a removal simpler. The bad news is that YouTube’s algorithm has been known to incorrectly remove comments prior to manual moderation (investigation by a human), which will have to be appealed to overcome.
There’s no double that YouTube removes comments. But the reasons aren’t as malicious as some assume, having to do with their Terms of Service or monitoring by content creators who want to avoid a negative tone, rather than for any nefarious purpose. Just follow the rules.
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- Statista: Distribution of removed YouTube comments worldwide as of 1st quarter 2021, by removal reason
- Scary Mommy: Don’t ‘Dirty Delete’—It’s Rude AF And You Need To Own Your Sh*t
- YouTube Help: Youtube keeps deleting my comments
- The Verge: YouTube is deleting comments with two phrases that insult China’s Communist Party
- YouTube Creator Academy: Handle hurtful or inappropriate comments
- The Guardian: YouTube investigates automatic deletion of comments criticising China Communist party
- YouTube: Community Guidelines
- Reddit: YouTube delete comments with certain words
- Forbes: YouTube’s “Elsagate” Illuminates The Unintended Horrors Of The Digital Age
- CNET: YouTube deleted comments critical of Chinese Communist Party due to ‘error’