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.
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
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:
- There is no moderation possible, comments get deleted without intervention and I can’t bring them back
- YouTube does not inform the user that it was YouTube that automatically deleted their comment
- Subscribers get upset that their comment got deleted, and unsubscribe (I tend to see a subscriber unsubscribing after a comment gets deleted)
- 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]!
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!
[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.
google is getting ridiculously aggressive with their AI moderating
I’ve noticed my comments getting dumped if I mention Islam and Jews or Judaism in the same sentence! Even if it’s in support of both! It’s bizarre. Also if I ask readers to “Google” anything at all, it gets instabinned! But if instead I say “look up” the same subject, then it stays up!
Which is even more bizarre as it’s discriminating against YouTube’s owner! Plus, most curse words will get some people’s comments (mine!) autodumped, whilst others will have no problem.
If Google/YouTube would post a list of the things their Ai will auto-ban then that would go a long way towards improving users interactions.
Here is my comment that got auto deleted. It was in response to a video about a guy who was arrested for murder for being simply disrespected. I left a small comment on the page after my initial comment was removed, and that one is still there. Something in this comment is triggering the bots. Here is the comment:
“Someone making you angry is like them having a power over you. Do not give them that power. When you get mad, consider the idea that these people are changing your mental state, affecting your entire life. Do not give some random person that power over you. its a good trick for road rage too. Someone passes too close, you honk, and the person gives you the finger and screams out their window. Its so easy to get mad. In that moment, think to yourself, “do not give them that power over you”. It takes practice but it does work. Im still practicing that. Probably will be my whole life.”
Oh and I should note that I went to another video on a different channel about comments getting deleted, and I posted that same comment there. It still got deleted. So its not related to a single channel. I didn’t post multiple times, I didn’t try to edit, I didn’t spam comments on the channel. Just a single post. and it was gone in seconds.
I found this website because I’m trying to find information about why my comments keep disappearing from videos across a wide range of channels. It seems like at least half of my comments disappear and I don’t know until I see someone else comment in the same thread and then I read the previous comments and notice my comment is no longer there. I then look at my comment history and my comment is no longer there. It doesn’t even have a placeholder such as “This comment has been deleted”. It just disappears, as if I never posted it.
I, too, have noticed (and wondered why) a comment thread will show, for example, “17 replies”, but then when I click the button to expand the thread, there are only 4 or 5 replies displayed. I’ve tried this on multiple browsers, multiple computers, from different locations, logged in to YouTube and not logged in, so I know it’s definitely not me or anything I’m doing wrong.
Perhaps the thing that is most absurd is I have noticed that every time I use the name Google in a comment, it gets deleted within about 20 seconds. I’m responding to people who are asking where to find information, so I’m trying to help people, and YouTube is automatically deleting the comments. For example, if someone asks where to find an answer to something, I’ll look it up myself and then post a comment such as “If you perform a Google search for ‘abc 123’ and look at the result with title ‘xyz 456’, then scroll down to section ‘Information Goes Here’, you’ll find the information”. Apparently, Google doesn’t like it when people mention their name, even when you’re promoting their product.
I cannot leave comments on anyone’s videos on YouTube, no matter how short, long or innocent they are.
I have even tried leaving comments from different Google accounts, but they still disappear within seconds. The YouTube algorithm just will not let me speak.
And yes, the video creators cannot see the comments. The tell-tale sign is under the videos….it will show how many comments there are…..say 18 comments, but you can only clearly see like 3 comments or something.
One video creator even showed his YouTube studio back office and showed how he doesn’t have access to the deleted comments and wasn’t the one who was deleting them. I’m so sick of the censorship on ALL of these social media platforms!
This is a serious problem across all of YouTube. Basically, Google has implemented an AI Moderator to automatically delete what it believes to be bad comments, but I’ve noticed a pattern into the types of comments it deletes and what it allows and it’s even worse than what most people think.
First, let me explain what happened with Amazon some years ago. They implemented an AI hiring system that would sort through applications and make hiring decisions autonomously. The belief was that it would have no biases, but it quickly became apparent that it was hiring on the basis of gender and ethnicity. Turns out it did this because it was fed real world data from people who were doing this. Amazon tried to fix the system, but in the end it couldn’t so they abandoned the project entirely. Today they instead use a system where they basically hire everyone unless their name was put on a list to not rehire and it works well enough for them.
Now, back to YouTube: I first noticed the problem a year back when I was writing about Native American Culture in comment to a video that was asking for alternate cultural perspectives to an issue and the comment was automatically removed within seconds. I then noticed it with regards to men’s rights issues. Basically, these are “unpopular” viewpoints so the AI Moderator is fed data to not recognize them as legitimate. It essentially developed a bias that is both racist and sexist.
Now I am seeing it with regards to the current pandemic. As a scientist I occasionally comment on videos that talk about it, and I’ve noticed a pattern of some of the things I am not allowed to say. I can’t say that it’s a fast mutating virus, nor can I say the media is misapplying the term “fully vaccinated” (originally that term was used when you got your second shot of a slow mutating virus because you will never need to get vaccinated again afterwards) and I can’t talk about how even the vaccinated should be social distancing because with inevitable mutations in the spike protein it’s going to cause what has basically started to happen already, but even now I can’t say anything about it! I can, at best, say that people should still wear masks and social distance, but I can’t say why and that’s dangerous. It means that Google is controlling a social narrative that’s resulting in actual human deaths.
I stopped posting videos to YouTube years ago because of changes to the platform, but as a channel operator I have also noticed issues with other people trying to comment that follows the pattern.
Now, Google is aware of the problem, but it conciously redirects the blame onto channel operators. For a long time now they have basically told people who complained on their forums that the comment just got moved to the spam folder and if deleted to talk to the channel operator, but as the number of threads expanded they created a mega thread to accept reports here:
Which, as a creator yourself, I highly suggest you talk about it there. As a commenter the issue is so bad that now when I comment I will ALWAYS copy to clipboard before I post, then if/when it doesn’t I paste into an email draft and then try again, and so on, and when something finally posts I will go to my computer and click reply on the megathread and post all of those comment attempts in the format they required. I shouldn’t have to do all that though. It’s really stupid.
I’m at the point where if I find someone talking about this issue in general I’ll comment about it because people need to know exactly what’s going on and what can be done about it, although at this point it would probably require a lawsuit against Google to stop. They are making themselves liable by redirecting blame against creators, and they are also making themselves liable by controlling the narrative without telling people.
Hi, this support forum thread you linked could become useful, thanks. However, I have to say that the “for viewers” section reads a lot like they’re blaming the creators for deleting things.
I’m sure most users are blaming creators, but that’s because google is outright telling people to blame creators. That’s the kind of thing that should see a class action lawsuit against google over since it’s literally libelous behavior. Google has actually designed the platform so that to the user they can’t tell the difference between something deleted by the AI, something marked as spam by the AI for the creator to review, and something deleted by the creator. That’s very clearly designed to direct hate against creators. I’ve actually been thinking of doing a video of me writing test comments in the comment section of a video that isn’t available to the public so I can show just how bad their bot is.
Similarly, after Google kicked most people out of the partner program, they then gave themselves the right to monetize any video without compensating the user, and google actually tells people to blame the creators for ad placement when google gives no control over where the ads go in such case.
On the bright side, creators can get some of that ad revenue back by abusing the content ID system. If you create an intro song and register it you can claim your own video to collect ad revenue on it even if you aren’t in the partner program, and if you also do an outro song you can have two separate claims on the video giving you 2/3rd the revenue the ads generate. This is also a trick for combating trolls who abuse content ID with fake claims to steal ad revenue to at least mitigate the losses involved since google doesn’t escrow the ad revenue stolen, meaning that thieves get to keep the money even if you recover your videos. By using an intro and outro claim you always have those 2 claims to share the money pool with other claimants while you fight them.
I ALWAYS copy my comments before I post them, for that same reason. And a quick way to tell if your comment is about to be binned, is to edit it slightly by adding an extra full stop and then repost. If a white box shows saying “ERROR: 404 blah blah” then it’s on the way out, so you should alter it in the appropriate way and try again…IF you can work out what the trigger has been!!