How to Make Your YouTube Comments Section a Safe Space for Viewers?
YouTube, like any other social media, has its own evils and vices. YouTube creators have often been accused of promoting unrealistic standards, misinformation, hate, and so on. While that concerns individual creators, a more common phenomenon is hate speech and bullying in the comment sections. It can be targeted to the creator or among viewers. If there is a difference of opinion, YouTube hate comments can go to great extents. People can get harassed, bullied, even blackmailed in YouTube comments. To prevent these comments, YouTube introduced a feature where commenters were asked to cross-think what they were about to post. It succeeded in reducing YouTube hate comments to an extent, but it did not magically vanish.
Why are hate comments a concern for creators?
There are two ways to look at YouTube comments. If you wish to take an apathetic approach, it would not matter to you what people are writing in the comments. There are hundreds to thousands of comments under many videos, and you might want to not be a part of sub-conversations within those conversations. While that approach guarantees mental peace, it is not sustainable for YouTube content creators. Let us tell you why.
As a content creator on YouTube, comments play a big role in understanding how good or bad you are doing. Sure, there is a lot of unnecessary hate in the comment section, but you also get to know a general opinion. That, in turn, can help you improve many aspects of your videos and channel.
If you are someone who pays attention to the comment section, a lot of negative comments will surely bother you. It would be especially concerning if the language and tone of the comments come off as abusive. Harsh comments or even dislikes can leave a deep impact on your psyche, leading you to stop believing in your capability. That is one side of the story.
On the other side of the story, your comment section might become a general place for hate speech and discussions. People could be attacking a certain community or sect in the comment sections, as is evident in the comment section of many YouTubers. When these types of things go on in your comments, it deters new YouTube subscribers and followers. Your existing subscribers wreak such havoc in the comment section that new people feel afraid to comment.
In turn, your comment section ends up becoming an echo chamber where hate speech is responded to by hate speech. It will create a toxic image of your personal brand, and you will face difficulties in growing outside those limitations. Your chances of getting brand deals will go down exponentially, and fellow YouTubers will think twice before collaborating with you.
If you are suffering from this problem or fear that you will, you need to take immediate action. If you do nothing about it, your comment section will pull your YouTube growth down before you even know it.
How to deal with negative comments
Before you decide to take action to make your comment section a better place, you must be clear about your intentions. If you want people to continue their misdemeanor in the comments, you might be going down the wrong path. However, if that is the approach you decide on, your intentions behind cleaning up the comment section might just be an attempt to get more deals and collaborations. Unfortunately, that approach is both shallow and unsustainable. Your bubble will burst ultimately, and it will leave a deep impact on the overall success of your YouTube channel.
However, if you are looking for a sustainable solution, the benefits will show up in their due course. The first thing you need to do is ensure none of your content incites hate. Unless you do that, there is no way for you to get positive, free YouTube comments. If your content promotes hate or discrimination in any manner, it will attract people who have a similar mindset. You will keep getting comments that are negative, hateful, and demeaning. Once you are clear on your end, you can move forward with the next steps.
Talk to your audience about negative comments and hate speech
The first thing you should do is have a heart-to-heart conversation with your YouTube subscribers and viewers. You can do it in the form of a written note or a video. In both cases, make it as poignant as possible. Talk about how you don’t believe in the power of hate and instead believe in love. Talk about how you want your YouTube subscribers’ community to be one of the most positive communities on the internet. In the end, talk about how it affects you at an emotional and personal level.
When you have an open conversation with your viewers about these issues, the effects of it reflects in the comment section. You will find people dissuading others from commenting negative things and bonding over positive messages. Your ultimate goal should be to empower the community about their well-being. Once the general culture of the community changes, you do not have to do anything to keep your comment section clean and positive.
Be vocal about social responsibilities
Much of what we call hate speech comes from a perspective of discrimination and exploitation. That’s why YouTube has a strong policy on racial slurs and discrimination. Often the most negative comment sections are of those people who do not exhibit their social stance. Do not make the same mistake. Be vocal about the fact that you believe in equality and tolerance. Make it evident that your channel is open to people from all races, sexes, and genders.
When you start being vocal about your social stance, you start attracting followers who have a similar vision. They are much less likely to spew hate in the comment section. You can avoid haters on YouTube by not making them feel welcome in the first place.
Do not be a keyboard warrior
There is no point in being a keyboard warrior, especially when you are a creator on YouTube. You might feel accomplished at having taught a lesson to one troll; hundreds would line up behind them. As a creator, it is not possible for you to go through every negative comment and reply to them all.
A better approach is to let your actions speak for themselves. The more attention you give to haters and trolls, the more motivated they become to continue their shenanigans. As a content creator, let your content represent what you think and believe in.
Make the best use of YouTube settings
YouTube has built-in tools and settings that let you control what comments show up in the videos. There are three things you can do – block a person from commenting, restrict comments, and allow all comments. By default, you would be allowing all comments. You should aim not to use the other two options, but do not shy away from doing so if the need arises.
Ideally, you should block only spam accounts that post random promotional messages in the comment section. For hate speech and bullying, the restricted option works better since you get to know what was about to be posted. If you feel that it does not violate any boundaries, you can allow it to be visible.
There is another option, that of disabling comments altogether. However, that is typically not a good approach. You do not get any of the benefits that come from understanding what comments tell you about your videos and presentation. On top of that, you do not give your subscribers the opportunity to form a community among themselves. Many people will be turned off simply at the sight of a disabled comment section. If you have to use this feature, make sure it is only for inevitable reasons.
As a content creator, you are in a position where what you say can impact hundreds to thousands of people. Use this platform to share a positive message to the world. Many people resort to rude comments only because they are not aware of the other person’s problems. If you can foster this awareness of empathy, you will be doing a service to society and yourself. Over time, this reputation will carry over and help you get more subscribers and fans.
Negative comments are a big problem for the creator community. Every creator has had to deal with it at some point or the other. Instead of being passive about it, you should do whatever you can in your individual capacity. If everyone starts adopting this stance, YouTube will become a safe space for everyone.
Negative comments are just one of the many problems that you have to deal with in your YouTube journey. From getting constant views to winning more subscribers, doing everything without any professional help can be daunting, if not impossible. With SubPals, you can be assured of constant growth in your YouTube journey with the help of experts who know exactly what to do. Free YouTube subscribers and free YouTube likes can take your channel to the next level.
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