I’ve been putting up a few videos on YouTube but am upset to see really crude and obscene comments left by others. I don’t want those! On the other hand, I do want good comments, those from people who have questions or just want to share their pleasant opinions. Can I selectively delete comments on my video on YouTube?
In my opinion, the cesspool that are YouTube comments are the worst part of the site and it’s rather astonishing that YouTube / Google haven’t come up with some sort of system that would at least hide offensive comments from those of us that would rather not see them, or even censor or filter those contributors from adding their offensive comments on otherwise benign or even useful video content.
I’m not in charge over at YouTube, however, so as a frequent video contributor I have to do the same thing I do here on my blog: police the comments. My ideal would be a world where people leave pleasant remarks, point out things they disagree with but in a non-provocative manner, and generally never feel that being a troll is fun. (A “troll” is someone who deliberately leaves offensive or hostile comments to rile everyone else up. They don’t care about the topic, they’re just trying to create a fight).
So YouTube does let you manage the comments associated with your own videos and it’s rather easy. I have a rule that obscenities and name calling are verboten on content I control, so when I got the following email notification of a new comment on my YouTube video, it was time to go into action:
There’s a link on the top right (not shown) that lets me mark it as spam, but this comment isn’t really spam because that’s unsolicited commercial comments. It’s just offensive and needlessly hostile (the last word I’ve obscured because I don’t like obscenities on this blog). To delete it, I click on the link “To see all comments on this video click here.”
That opens up the YouTube page and shows me the comment in the comment stream:
I could comment, but that’s not how I deal with this sort of thing, and it sounds like it’s not how you want to deal with your offensive comments either. Instead, click on the downward facing triangle adjacent to “Reply” on the right.
A menu pops up:
There’s your desired option: Remove. Choose that and without any confirmation or further dialog the comment vanishes and you’re looking at the comment stream minus the offensive entry. In fact, it can be so fast that it’s a bit disconcerting the first time.
That’s it. Done.
I know, for some readers this strategy of deleting comments rather than letting the community self-police and for people to learn how to ignore these offensive remarks is censorship and a bad thing, but that’s a clear matter of opinion and it’s also based on the assumption that all comments are useful, beneficial and left with legitimate intent to further the discussion. I’m fine with people disagreeing, I just ask that they do so with a civil tongue. What’s your take, though?