Comments not found

You might have heard by now that YouTube is deleting user comments, perhaps you commented on one of my videos and your comment disappeared unexectedly…

Let me assure you, I have not deleted any comments at all so far.

Background

I started my YouTube channel about two months ago, at first, it went quite slow, not many views, not many comments if any… as expected. But I kept producing videos and have uploaded 10 so far… It’s slowly starting to pick up pace. So, of course, by now I am receiving comments regularly. So far, it’s just been positive comments (thank you all!), where people say the video is good, that they liked it, they might say thanks if a video helped them out, they might point out some way to improve, you know, pretty positive stuff. No reason to delete.

But, let’s rewind a bit, to the very first few comments I received, all positive stuff too, I remember how I got a positive comment, I got a notification on my phone, clicked it, read it, and when I wanted to tap “love” (you know, where you give a heart), I got an error from the YouTube Studio App “comment not found”, so I refreshed the notifications page, tapped on the notification, and got “comment not found”.

So, clearly, the comment was deleted. I didn’t do it, so it must have been YouTube or the user. Back then, I thought it might have been the user. You know, some sites don’t allow editing comments, so I thought they might have deleted to repost an edited version (because maybe they didn’t know YouTube has an edit function), but the repost never came. So, I simply thought maybe that person felt insecure and deleted the comment, I know some people like that.

But then it kept happening… and I thought, it makes no sense that so many users are deleting their comments, and I’m not deleting them, so it must have been YouTube… at this point it was just a suspicion.

How I figured it out

A comment I posted on YouTube

So, I posted a pinned comment on one of my videos, telling people that I think YouTube might be deleting comments, and asking them to reply if it had been happening to them…

I had at least one user respond, confirming it wasn’t them deleting it… ironically, that comment then got deleted. But it was enough to know, that YouTube is indeed deleting comments.

Now, of course, this doesn’t mean all comments got deleted by YouTube, but we now know that YouTube *does* delete comments, and it wouldn’t make sense that all those disappearing comments are deleted by the users within a minute after posting, and I didn’t delete them, so I think it’s safe to say YouTube has deleted most of them if not all.

Why is this happening?

Honestly, I don’t think anyone outside of YouTube can say for sure, but I believe YouTube is using some algorithm to try to detect “hate” and “spam” and automatically delete those, to keep the platform “clean”. However, so far, at least on my channel, it’s only been false positives. There has not been any negative comment so far, and all the deleted ones were positive.

Why is this bad?

You know, I think it makes sense to try to use automation to try to clean up bad comments, YouTube is probably trying to do a good thing here, but the way it’s done is really bad because:

  1. There is no moderation possible, comments get deleted without intervention and I can’t bring them back
  2. YouTube does not inform the user that it was YouTube that automatically deleted their comment
  3. Subscribers get upset that their comment got deleted, and unsubscribe (I tend to see a subscriber unsubscribing after a comment gets deleted)
  4. My viewers probably think it was me, so, not only do my viewers probably get upset, they might get upset with me, even though I didn’t delete anything

Basically, YouTube is doing that school prank, where they slap someone’s head from behind, then duck, and when the person turns around, I’m standing there, making it look like it was me.

But worse than losing a subscriber, is that the person probably got upset, and they probably got upset with me for something I didn’t do. This just sucks.

But I think the worst part is, it’s a loss to my viewers and the community, people ask for help in my comments, and I see other viewers responding trying to help, which is great! I love to see people trying to help each other, but when wonderful comments get deleted for no good reason, that’s just a loss for everyone.

If I could, I would disable the automatic deletion. And I’d ask YouTube to inform the users when things happen. The way it’s now, I have no power and the user is left in the dark.

A possible workaround (+ Announcement)

Now, while I can’t solve the issue, I came up with a workaround. I decided to open up a forum for my viewers, my readers, my friends, and everyone that would like to join and discuss my content and have a good time.

I decided to rent a dedicated host (no shared hosting!) and I set up everything from scratch, it took me a day to install everything, configure, harden the security, install the forum, configure the forum, set up all the forums and everything… and of course, I’m paying out of my pocket and maintaining this in my free time. I really hope people will make use of the forum! :D

The forum is located at [https://forum.sindastra.net] and is running MyBB as forum software.

You can read the first post [here]!

Thank you

I would like to say thank you to my readers, viewers, commenters, likers, subscribers and to my patrons, more specifically to my first and only patron: Thank you.

Having people that enjoy my content and believe in me, is what encouraged me to take a risk and set up a forum. I really hope you’ll stop by and say hi. (:

That’s all there is to it!

External Links

[UPDATE] I have now made an audio version, where I read my article to you:

Note: I’m not going to start to make all my blog posts into audible versions, this was an exception because it affects my viewers and I thought this might be a better way to get this information to my viewers.